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Breaking Out of What the Algorithm Feeds You

Bookmarked 9 Ways to ‘Rewild Your Attention’ – Forge by Clive Thompson (forge.medium.com)

Back in August, I wrote about the concept of “rewilding your attention” — why it’s good to step away from the algorithmic feeds of big social media. I’d originally encountered the idea via a tweet by…

I am a huge proponent of RSS and honestly don’t understand how anyone can do without it 🤷‍♀️

But, I also like his other suggestions which are even more self-guided / self-directed. When you follow someone’s blog, you’re signing on to whatever they want to write about. You’ve curated your own feed, but it’s still feeding you what other people care about. Letting others shape what you’re thinking about.

Also makes me think of the benefits of browsing and serendipitous discovery. Randomness can lead you to interesting discoveries. Some of that randomness can come from the people you follow sharing the stuff they care about, some could come through community discovery, but some should be self-guided. I’ve learned about some cool new search engines lately but haven’t figured out what I want to explore with them… I feel like I’ve gotten out of the habit of asking non-factual questions because it’s been so hard to search real people’s writing with Google and DuckDuckGo, and it’s hard to come up with things to explore that I don’t have a concrete, immediate need for. I want to be a slightly less practical person 😂

Some of his other ideas:

  • Fraidycat as a secondary, broader RSS feed where you don’t want everything, but you do want to check in on certain writers and creators periodically – looks like a way for me to follow some select people on Twitter without the temptation of the whole feed, and check in on artists periodically who don’t have email newsletters or blogs for me to find out about prints 😠
  • Paper books – especially nonfiction – I have also been trying to do this more for visual inspiration too
  • Exploring niche forums
  • Reading poetry
  • Using boutique search engines

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at tracy.durnell@gmail.com. She/her.

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