I have always admired what Knuth says about email:
Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don’t have time for such study.
(emphasis added) – [Knuth versus Email]
I’m not giving up email (heaven forbid!). And none of us are Knuth!
But I am weeding: culling away most listservs and feeds that aren’t core to semantic web or social web, or to my personal life (or joy). I’ll be keeping an eye on twitter, of course.
This (hopefully) brings me more attention for figuring out what’s going on in the semantic web and social web community, and for my literature review. But it means I’m going to have to accept lagging behind a little in everything else.
I have a love for being-in-the-know and finding interesting links. That makes it hard to stay on the bottom of things! For now, this energy and mindset get directed to my literature review (which is very much like finding the coolest new thing, only that thing may be from 1985, and nearly wholly forgotten, and not cool or new to anyone except for oneself.)
The good news is that when studying the social web, total disconnection generally isn’t desirable!