Unlocking the Secrets of the Web and Personal Knowledge Management


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 01, 2023

4 min read


Unlocking the Secrets of the Web and Personal Knowledge Management

In today's digital age, we are constantly bombarded with information. From news articles to social media posts to personal notes, we are constantly consuming and creating content. But how much of this information do we actually engage with and retain? And how can we effectively manage and organize our personal knowledge? In this article, we will explore two seemingly unrelated topics - the misconceptions about online engagement and the importance of personal knowledge management - and discover the common threads that tie them together.

"What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong"

Have you ever come across an interesting article online, clicked on it, and then quickly lost interest? If so, you're not alone. According to research, the majority of people who click on articles spend less than 15 seconds actively reading them. Shockingly, even when looking specifically at article pages, one in every three visitors spends less than 15 seconds reading the content. This indicates that most people who click on articles don't actually read them.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. The research also shows that articles that were clicked on and engaged with tended to be actual news. In contrast, articles that were clicked on but not deeply engaged with had more generic topics. This suggests that the quality and relevance of the content play a crucial role in capturing and holding readers' attention.

But what about social sharing? Many of us believe that the more we share an article, the more likely we are to read it. However, the research tells us otherwise. Among the articles tracked for social activity, there was no relationship between the number of social shares and the amount of attention readers gave to the content. In other words, just because something is shared widely doesn't mean it's actually being read.

These findings challenge our assumptions about online engagement and highlight the need for quality, relevant content that captures readers' attention. So, the next time you come across an article that piques your interest, take a moment to truly engage with it and share it if you genuinely find it valuable. Remember, sharing does not necessarily equate to reading.

"How I use Roam and Notion for Personal Knowledge Management"

Now let's shift our focus to personal knowledge management. Imagine stumbling upon a treasure trove of information stored on your late grandfather's computer. Pages upon pages of notes, jokes, quotes, and articles, all without any structure or organization. This scenario underscores the importance of personal knowledge management.

Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is the practice of capturing and cultivating the ideas and insights we encounter in our daily lives. It involves organizing and structuring information from various sources, such as personal experiences, books, articles, and work-related materials. The goal is to create a system that enhances our creativity, productivity, and overall organization.

For many individuals, PKM encompasses a wide range of information, including book highlights, personal data, meeting notes, inspirational quotes, and personal goals. The key is to have systems in place that make us as organized, proactive, and creative as possible. One popular method for PKM is the Getting Things Done system developed by David Allen.

When it comes to utilizing digital tools for PKM, two popular options are Roam and Notion. Roam is often favored for its non-linear note-taking capabilities, allowing users to capture and connect ideas in a way that mimics the human brain's natural thought process. On the other hand, Notion excels at project management and storing documents and digital data.

To effectively manage personal knowledge, it is essential to have a systematic approach. One method, known as the P.A.R.A. method, involves organizing files based on Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archive. However, in the context of Roam and Notion, a modified version called P.A.A. (Projects, Areas, and Archive) can be used.

Incorporating tools like Instapaper, Readwise, and Roam can further enhance personal knowledge management. By exporting online content highlights from Instapaper to Readwise and then importing them into Roam, users can engage with their notes through tagging and notes design. Additionally, using Roam to create high-level outlines and transferring long-form journaling from apps like Bear to Roam can provide a comprehensive view of personal knowledge.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Engage with content: Instead of mindlessly clicking and scrolling, take the time to actively engage with the content you come across. This will not only enhance your understanding but also contribute to a more meaningful online experience.
  • 2. Develop a personal knowledge management system: Whether you choose Roam, Notion, or another tool, invest time in developing a system that works for you. Organize your information in a way that enhances creativity, productivity, and organization.
  • 3. Embrace non-linear note-taking: Consider utilizing tools like Roam that allow for non-linear note-taking. Mimicking the way our brains naturally jump from idea to idea can lead to more creative and insightful connections.

In conclusion, our understanding of online engagement and personal knowledge management are intricately linked. By critically examining our assumptions about online sharing and engagement, we can make more informed decisions about the content we consume and create. Similarly, by implementing effective personal knowledge management strategies, we can unlock the full potential of our ideas and insights. So, let's challenge what we think we know and embark on a journey of discovery and growth in the digital realm.

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