May 29, 2016
How I continuously build my own search engine unintentionally

Way back when I was still in school and internet is pretty strange to me, I often keep on browsing one website to the other just to get the hang of it. In the process I noticed one weird  thing- the  ‘Email Newsletters’ sign up section. I was asking myself who in the world would want to receive emails from websites. To me there seems to be no value in subscribing that’s why it felt weird. At that time I perceived email as a medium in sending homework or a prerequisite to access content in some websites. I rarely use it for anything else. And I thought that was it.


(image courtesy of thevoiceofyouth and dribble)

Fast forward to when I started working in the tech world. I was doing great. I’m learning a lot and was feeding myself with new information – tech is evolving fast I need to keep up or I’ll get left behind. You see I like keeping myself up to date but I felt at that time that I’m still missing a lot. On a regular day I spend time browsing and reading blogs but every day is not a regular day. It can get crazy busy which is definitely not a good day to squeeze in reading time. Later I’ve realized that the problem was that I have to be intentional. I have to go to websites, browse endlessly, pick what I want to read, and read. Knowing where my pain point is, I decided to make a very simple solution.  To do the exact opposite of being intentional – not to be intentional.

The websites I often browse and read regularly has the “Email newsletter” sign up section.  Guess what, I subscribed in all of them! From “I rarely use email for anything else” becomes  “I use it for almost everything”. Believe it or not, I’ve subscribed to a lot that I had to create a new email account dedicated for newsletters.  Now, every time I open up my inbox – which I regularly do – I can view new information. Most of them curated list of articles from mobile development to product design and even international news.  To be honest, I don’t read every full content but the article title in itself  creates a sense of awareness that sometimes is already good enough. You might say that I could skip the mail but I can’t because I can’t stand seeing red badges peeking out of my app icon. And to get rid of those I have to click every unread mail.

Every  information I get is another information added to my own search engine, my brain.  Like any other process there’s also drawbacks but that’s for another day.