I read that article on which billionth website?

Like most of us I surf the web to gather information, research companies and find products and services. Yet with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, the blogosphere and much more available, I constantly struggle to remember exactly where I’ve read specific things.

I’ll tout something I’ve read by offering facts and figures, but too often when people ask where I learned all that, I haven’t a clue and can’t find it again. If I were to keep track, the number of bookmarks would become burdensome. You know those headlines at the top of LinkedIn? They suck me in every day. Are you following anyone on Twitter? Such links send you to engaging websites, most providing good reading, but how many of us accurately remember where we went or can cite the source of what we read?

Just as I regret not recalling who wrote an article, I imagine that many of you reading this post will not remember me. (That’s okay, I completely understand!) Funny, I usually can’t even remember which machine I read an article on. Desktop? Laptop? Smartphone? It’s impossible to keep track and stay sane!

I’ve gained knowledge over the years from schools, books, seminars, webinars, colleagues/friends, and, yes, blogs and websites. Where I learned what, though, sure gets tough to trace over my 14-year-career as a graphic designer.

Interestingly, the sources I remember best are those found in books or physical newspapers I’ve read. There is something about print that stays with me. The why is not my area of expertise, but I believe that it’s because we cannot link to other places when reading hard copy. We stay with the writer, in the moment, and can’t bounce around at will. This helps our brain concentrate and furthers our retention. Print certainly sacrifices the potential reach of online, but the fact is, if I read it on paper, the source sticks better.

Just me, or do you feel the same? Chime in, please, market researchers in particular.

The Internet has connected us in so many ways. On it we discover amazing things, but with billions of websites linked, it’s growing tough if not impossible to reference information a second time. Today the Internet is so rich with content, so current, so fast that it becomes a disposable product. You read it once. You toss it.

It makes you wonder: Maybe we are not expected to remember.

Gary Epis
Bondepus Design

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