The dangers of tailoring your news

A lot of people use some form of aggregator to collect Internet stories and posts on those subjects that concern them. And that’s all they read. At first it sounds like a good idea; tailor your searches and news sources to reflect your particular interests. There’s just too much information on the Internet so aggregating and reading only those things that you are interested in will serve you better, right?

Personally, I don’t think so. How are you ever going to learn about new things if you only read about what you already know? I can’t count how many times I have discovered something new and useful just by serendipity or how many times I have come across an item that made me exclaim, “I didn’t know that”. That’s the advantage of reading a newspaper like the New York Times or looking through wide-based professional journals like Nature. I’m not saying that aggregators aren’t extremely usful; I use one to help with this blog. It’s the problem of relying solely on tailored sources that concerns me.

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