Friday Links 08-08-08

From the Web

Are We More Self-Absorbed Nowadays? – Ben Casnocha raises an interesting question.  I’m definitely guilty of the conceit that people care about my opinion on things (heck, I’ve been writing here for over two years).  Self-absorption may be a fault, but it has an interesting trade-off.  Does more self-absorption also mean more independence and individuality by viewing your opinion as being separate from everyone around you?

Better Ways to Use Your Brain – A reader sends this link for improving how you think.  Great tips for those looking to increase their brainpower.

Should 20-somethings Stop Saving?Ben points to an interesting article where the author argues against the advice to start saving when you’re in your twenty.  I agree partially with the author.  Having a million dollars in savings when I retire isn’t important to me if it means putting my life on hold during my twenties.  However, I don’t think it is wise building up consumer debt to live a lifestyle you can’t afford, even if you plan to have more earning power later.  You can read the second part, here.

What are your thoughts?  Should youth be a time for saving and investing your money, or should you be spending your money to buy experiences and education that can enrich your later years in ways other than a paycheck?

From the Archives

Measuring Persistence – A recent article I wrote about how to keep track of your persistence levels, why persistence is different than motivation and pursuing infinite persistence.

From the Shelf

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
– I recently got a chance to read this great book.  It is filled of examples and psychological studies that show how we are persuaded to buy and believe, even when it doesn’t make rational sense.  Worth reading for anyone hoping to get into business and for every consumer to be aware of the tactics being used against them.


I’m planning on doing an experiment with my posting rate in the upcoming months.  Although I’ve stuck with the 4 articles + Friday Links every week for the last six months, I’m thinking of experimenting with a change.  I haven’t settled on an exact posting schedule, but it will probably be 2-3 articles a week instead of 5.

I’m basing this experiment on some feedback I’ve received and hunches I have that keeping up with a high posting rate is difficult for many readers.  Although high posting tends to attract more readers from links, it also encourages people to unsubscribe if they can’t keep up.  If you have an opinion on the posting rate of this blog, I suggest you weigh in so I can use your feedback before I start the experiment.

  • Rob

    I agree that it is hard to keep up with the amount of content you put out every week.

  • Shanel Yang

    Should 20-somethings start saving? Absolutely! Earlier if possible. But I’m talking $5 a week to whatever you can afford in a retirement fund that is allocated 100% to aggressive growths stocks and never touch it! Except to add to that weekly amount as you grow older and can afford it. Then, 10 – 20 years before retirement, gradually start changing the allocation to more “safe” investments such as more bonds, etc.

    The argument isn’t life experiences versus saving. You get much more life experiences if you learn to save and live off less. For example, a student can travel very cheap or very expensive. The choice is all up to you!

    Having said all that, if a young person wants to try his/her hand at entrepreneurship, then I think the younger, the better to sink your time, effort, and money (within reason and definitely NOT at the cost of dipping into your retirement fund or contributions) into that kind of highly valuable experience that money just can’t buy!

    Take the “Future Entrepreneurs Test” at… to see what it takes to be one. Or read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to understand the real difference between an asset and a liability. Hint: A house is not an asset unless you’re renting at least part of it out for income. Your car is not an asset. Nor your jewelry, art collection, or clothes. Unless you can AND do get a profit on them by selling them for more than you paid for it. A 20-something would do well to save as much money as he/she can and read a lot of great books about money management and investment from the library (all about being frugal!) and then make decisions based on a firm understanding of where to go from there.

    Saving money is not putting your life on hold. If you can’t hang with the cool crowd or date the glamorous people b/c you’re investing in your future, then that’s actually a GOOD thing. That crowd will only drain your resources (time, effort, and money) and leave you as soon as you’ve spent it all anyway. I know. See my “How I Paid Off $50,000 of Debt in One Year” at

  • ambika

    yes,i unsubscribed as my inbox was gitting piled up.but i like getting mails than reading online feeling detached. i read to incorporate useful thought patterns & for good memories & not as escape route from my academic studies..for that i need time to think over the idea without getting hastened from lagging behind info i want less frequently posted [ 1major weekdays & 2-3 minor weekend ideas & friday links with more details in ‘from the shelf’] but written with a more strong impact quotation and picture for the title,diagramatic representation of parts of ideas, lenthy article, whimsical/humorous ending/homework exercise to do . am i asking too much?

  • Gerto

    I personally like your posting rate, but less articles a week means that you’ll have more time per article, which means they can only get even better! 🙂

  • Anand Dhillon

    Hi Scott,

    I would prefer getting 3 posts spread out over the weekdays (Monday, Wednesday, Friday perhaps) and maybe Saturday links.

    I also tend to like longer, more in-depth articles that I can read all at once as opposed to a series of smaller articles. However, this is something a lot of other readers might not prefer.

    Anyways, great work with your blog.


    P.S. I hope you’re feeling better.

  • JayCruz

    For me it’s no problem at all, but that’s probably because I’m a feed reader freak 🙂 I actually consider un-subscribing when a blog doesn’t post frequently. That doesn’t mean that I wont un-subscribe if I can’t keep up, I have, but 4 post a week is a piece a cake for me compared to to sites like TechCrunch, Engadget or io9.

  • Dave Fowler

    Hi Scott,

    Your posts make me think. That’s why I keep coming back. They’re much more than just ‘bubble gum for the eyes’.

    As a consequence your writing can’t be ‘quickly scanned’ (or if it is quickly scanned, the meaning is easily missed). I suspect most people like to scan, and if they can’t do that, then maybe they unsubcribe? It’s just a thought. I’m probably way off the mark.

    I have no problem keeping up with your output, but I’d be happy to see some lighter posts mixed in with those requiring closer attention, purely so that you keep your readers. If the blog stops paying – you’ll stop posting – and we can’t have that!

    Don’t rely on anything I say though, because I have no experience as a blogger.



  • lakelady

    re: saving when you’re young. I think there can be a balance of using what you have to gain experiences and saving at the same time. You don’t have to be saving a lot, but it’s about setting up habits for the future. And it’s not all about having x amount for retirement. Saving is also about having a reserve for unexpected emergencies – or opportunites.

  • Tim Brownson

    Scott, I dropped my posting down from about 5 or 6 times to 2 or 3 per week about 2 months ago and my subscriptions doubled. Imagine if I never posted people would be lining up to read!

    I think there are just so many blogs vying for peoples attention that those that blog too often (other than the ones breaking news and/or using multiple guest posters) will suffer in the long run.

    When my reader or inbox is loaded my first job is often looking for stuff to delete so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I guess I need a Life Coach.

    Of course that’s just me and others will be different.

  • Scott Young

    With regards to the comments on posting rate,

    Lowering my posting rate has nothing to do with my ability to write. I’ve found 4-5 articles a week fairly comfortable, but I think 2-3 might be easier on my readers. It will also leave me more space to focus on improving other aspects of the website and writing free e-books and such, which I don’t have much time to do now.


  • Dave Fowler


    You’ve got a considerable library of previous posts. I’ve looked at a few, but I haven’t even scratched the surface.

    If you posted only 2 or 3 times a week, I feel that there’s still plenty of value in your previous work, and I would feel inclined to go rooting around in your archives.

    I say go for it!!!


  • Jonas

    Scott: I’d say definitely, definitely reduce your posting rate. Not only would it make it easier for us readers to keep up, having a couple of days’ incubation time after each post would also be a great impetus for opening up topics for discussion/feedback. As you state repeatedly in your posts, reading is useless unless it creates change in thought/behavioral patterns. Since so many of your posts include a “Now try this on your own” component, it would make even more sense to cut down. No more than 2 posts a week would be perfect. I’ve been your reader for a year now; I’d be surprised if I’ve gotten through 1/3 of your posts. You put up the tested material for all, now it’s time to get juice out of it.


  • Vlad Dolezal

    Hey Scott!

    Nice to hear you’ll be posting only 2-3 times a week 😀

    I sometimes let a few weeks’ worth of your posts pile up in my reader simply because I couldn’t keep up. But your advice is generally really good.

    Oh, and I’ll be checking out the books about eating you recommended. My diet is definitely something I want to tackle in the near future.

    Cheers, and keep it up!

  • Scott Young

    Thanks Vlad!