The web has become a very lively place. Around the globe, people are happily sharing all sorts of experiences with any subject you can think of. There now is an enormous collection of thoughts, opinions, stories and conversations that you can draw from when you are selecting a car, finding a suitable mortgage, finding the best hospital for treating your mother’s heart condition, purchasing top quality roasted Guatemalan coffee beans or finding out personal information about someone you are thinking about hiring.
I use different web resource types (blogs, search engines, feeds, …) for finding out about different subjects. Moreover, the resource type that I use for finding out more about a subject depends on my connection with the subject. This is visualized in the picture below. I call it my web usage spectrum.
The horizontal axis marks the favourableness of subjects. On the left are the subjects that I don’t care much about and on the far right are my favorite subjects. The vertical axis marks the frequency at which I use certain web resources for finding information about subjects. At the bottom are my least used resources and on top are the ones that I use all the time. The length of the boxes inside the graph says something about the universal usefulness of a resource. It is by no means exact nor did I collect any statistics.
I wish to stay abreast with subjects that I am strongly connected with. For that I am relying on resources that I value and trust. As you can see in the graph, I follow these resources using syndication and collaborative tools. For less favourable subjects I take a more traditional, pre-Web2.0-approach.
My web usage spectrum is highly subjective and reflects how I prefer to milk the web. I adapt it every now and then when I learn new tricks. Usually an adaption leads to an improvement in the quality of the information I find, the time I need to find the information or the amount of fun that I am having.
My guess is that my web usage spectrum is not unique and probably sub-optimal. I know that it is tweakable but I am relatively slow at adopting new tools (I am skeptical and allergic to change…). For example, I was only very recently convinced of the use of twitter (you can follow me here).
This all poses an interesting question: How do you know if your spectrum is optimal in the sense that you use the right resources the right way? One approach to answer this is to compare your spectrum with other spectrums. So please share with me: how do you milk your web?. What does your web usage spectrum look like?