Concept - Inputs pt.1

I believe every personal website would benefit from having a public directory of the information, people, companies and content they consume categorised, filterable and searchable. Enabling the sharing of your inputs (consumption) rather than just the outputs (blogs, podcasts etc).

It started with this Tweet.

Here's why I think that and why I putting this concept together.

Right now, a big gap exists between the information we consume, and what we produce. Those who are prolific producers have a disproportionate advantage over those who only consume. Producing and openly sharing content online has the potential to lead to serendipitous opportunities that would have otherwise never have happened. In all cases, including the most prolific, the amount of information we take in, far outnumbers the amount that comes out the other end. The inputs far exceed the outputs.  

As we switch between our devices, we get bombarded with an endless amount of content. Most get scrolled past while certain pieces grab our attention. For content that interests us, one of four things happen. We either share, bookmark, discard or take a record of it. More often than now we discard and move on without taking any action (for various reasons).

This leaves room for something that sits in the middle. A body of content which showcases the inputs rather than just the output. More curation and less creation. Creating is scary for most so having a vehicle that allows you to share your interests and what you find interesting without the labour or fear of producing a blog post, podcast or ebook would be extremely valuable.

This 'body of content' should live on your personal website available for anyone that wants to look through the window into what shapes your thinking to dig through.

We're living in a time now where creating a website is now simple. So simple in fact, that personal websites are commonplace. But, the structure of the 'personal website' hasn't evolved much in recent times. It usually consists of a Home Page, an About or Portfolio Page, a Contact Page and a Blog page. These pages are usually static and rarely updated unless a new Blog post gets written. They are manual in nature and tip the scales in favour of the creators amongst us.

If we roll out minds back to a time in education, we can probably remember the phrase 'show your working'. We used to get extra marks for showing how we reached the answer on top of the answer on it's own. At some point this stopped. Now few, if any of us, 'show our working' or in this context our 'Inputs'. What actually happens is that we filter, then consume our Inputs in private often with no resulting Output other than a conversation at some point in the future.

I don't know about you but I'd love to check back in on the people I follow and admire to see what they're reading, researching, watching or listening to rather than waiting with baited breath in the hope they publish a blog post, create a video or share something on Twitter.

I have a hunch there are others like me. Other people who would be as, if not more interested in seeing the ingredients that go in, as much as the final cake. The curated list of Inputs that influence that persons thinking, decisions and actions.

Before now, putting this idea into action, curating information and posting it on a website would need a lot of time, code, or help. Now though, it's possible without either of these. Using modern tools, bringing this to life without the need for extra help is possible. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to drag and drop.

By it's very nature each individual Inputs page will be constantly changing but it could consist of things like, companies you follow, people you find interesting, articles or podcasts you listen to and videos you find stimulating. All the things you're interested in but with more substance than a few words tagged onto the end of a resume or about page. And, rather than having to input and update the website manually, your personal army of robots take care of this for you. Find something, save it, tag it and it's goes live on your site for others to see.

Once added to the site, everything is accessible through real-time search and filtering. This makes it easy for anyone following you to keep up to date on what you find interesting at the present moment. Even without having to go through the pain of creation. This is more curation.

It's not to say however that creation should be ignored. Far from it in-fact. For those who already create, your followers would likely love to see what you digest on the way to producing your content. But for those who are not natural creators but are interested in moving away from pure consumption, this is for you also. By starting to share your 'Inputs', it makes connecting with your Tribe or Audience easier and may start you off on a path towards creation. This is very much scratching my own itch so I wrote this second sentence for myself.

It's a chance for consumers or curators to glean the same benefits once reserved for creators.  

Inputs is a concept I'm currently developing and am building into my own site.

If you found this idea interesting and would be interested in being amongst the first to implement this on a pilot programme, then pop in your details or click and I'll get some more information to you.