During a discussion of my upcoming Doctor of Ministry project, someone reminded me of a helpful distinction. They described the difference between digital natives and digital immigrants. My six year old daughter will never remember a time before iPhones. She has known about the internet her entire life. She is a digital native. Even though I consider myself technologically savvy, I remember a time before DVD players and VCRs. I even existed without cable or satellite as a child. We had three channels and you had to go outside to turn the antenna to get a different station.
Even though I’ve learned DSL (digital as a second language – haha), for the most part I’m still fairly fluent in our digital culture. However, sometimes I assume people know things that I take for granted because I’ve been speaking this language for several years.
One of the questions I sometimes am asked is, “How can you keep up with the content on blogs?” It would be exhausting to click through “favorites” from blog to blog to blog. I follow 100 blogs via an RSS feeder that I check about once a day. If you’re a digital immigrant, you would greatly benefit from learning how to do this! Jay Voorhees (at his his technopastor address) pointed to a good summary of RSS in simple language some time back, so I’ll just point you to that.
Click here if you follow blogs but have no idea what RSS is. What you’ll find is basically a quick way to get a ton of information. For me that means I can check 100 blogs in no time at all. I use Google Reader to manage all of this.
I’d list my top 100, but its constantly changing. I’ve sort of made a point to take one off every time I add a new one, so it stays manageable. So, I hope this helps you digital immigrants out there and gives you yet another shortcut for navigating a whole new world!