Darwin and Social Media

Need a break from social media? Sometimes you just need a break from the intensity of a project, and my friend Sarah has an interesting escape–she has a book of Robert Frost or something else mind-numbingly complicated on her desk, and when she needs a break, she picks up the tome. She says it helps to concentrate on what is being said in the book and takes her away from the problem at hand.

This is what social media feels like sometimes–it can be so complicated, but Sarah’s solution is just the opposite–not an escape, but an equally challenging situation that draws the mind away. Enter Darwin:

Currently, I’m reading On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, in the original. Well, in the original text–but delivered via email! A few paragraphs, sent every other day (according to my preferences), sit in my inbox like another to-do, but eventually, I remember Sarah’s re-focusing technique, and I’ve been using these reading breaks to ponder how genetics are changing to predisposition the new workforce to adapt to social media.

And there’s a great ‘at your fingertips’ tool for this, too–combining what’s great about new media with the comfort of the good ol’ fashioned book. Have you heard of DailyLit?

DailyLit serializes books and emails snippets. They offer titles for purchase, and titles for free–including many classics. Just a simple login and password gains you access to lots of literature, and the site is full of opportunities for interaction–just like any good social media site. You can create reading lists, comment on titles, and discuss books in forums, and–somehow!–you can link your DailyLit profile to your Twitter account.

Another similar service I like is my local library’s ’email book club’; I tried the Business Book Club, and received a daily 5-minute segment that previewed a book. At the end of the week, I’d read a chapter or two, and could request or buy the book. (And the whole story behind the ‘leader’ of the club provides an interesting insight into a whole new career choice and industry–online book club manager!)

Interesting to ponder–the old, and the new, evolving and adapting to change.

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