What I want to achieve with Lighthouse

I’ve been learning from articles, blog posts, and newsletters since I was in school. They’re not my only source of knowledge, but they are great to stay up to date, get practical knowledge from people who’ve done it, expose myself to new ideas, and much more.

Over the years I’ve gone through a couple different tools. Initially, I opened everything in a new tab. It worked for a while, but it became unsustainable. At some point I switched to Pocket, a read-it-later app, and my browser (and laptop memory) was freed of the tens to hundreds of tabs.

Over time I accumulated a long list of blogs I follow. Not all of them have newsletters and relying on their content being upvoted on HackerNews or Reddit wasn’t going to cut it. This is when I looked into rss feed readers, and eventually developed my own.

Life was good. I followed the blogs I wanted, and even moved all newsletter subscriptions there. Goodbye email clutter.

Fast forward a few years, I have acquired much more knowledge than I had during my university years. Back then almost everything was new and interesting. Today, a lot of it just rehashes what I already know.

I find myself skimming and archiving content much more frequently now. It often happens that long content stays in my reading list due to time constraints, only to discover it’s not valuable at all when I finally take the time.

It’s frustrating. Ideally I’d like to know beforehand if content is high-quality and worth the time.

To that end I’m building Lighthouse. It’s a combination of RSS feed reader, newsletter reader, and read-it-later app, which focuses on dealing with content overload. Specifically overload of educational content. The application is targeted towards lifelong learners, so we know where to put our limited attention.

My vision is that everything you read, watch, or listen to, contains valuable information. Phrased differently, no content you put your valuable attention on, is a waste of time.

This is also the rationale behind the name Lighthouse. It’s an analogy for how it shines a light on great content, leaving the rest in the dark.

This is not the only way to solve content overload, and there is no shortage of feed readers out there. Some of them already attempt to tackle content overload. They usually attempt it by using an AI that filters or sorts content for you.

I follow a different approach.

In my opinion, no AI, no content curator, not even friends, can recommend content that’s 100% perfect for you. You always need to check yourself if it’s worth the time. They suggest content, but you’re the only one who can say if it’s useful to you.

This process of filtering and selecting content is what I aim to facilitate. I want to provide as much insight into content before you open it, in a scannable manner, so you can quickly decide if it’s valuable or not.

Additional information is helpful because the headline is often not enough to make that decision. Sometimes it’s misleading (aka clickbait), other times it lacks information altogether. In other instances, expectations are misaligned. We anticipate a deep dive, only to find it’s merely an overview. There are endless reasons why we end up reading something that provides no value.

The more information we have upfront the better we can pick the pieces that we are looking for.

If you share this view on content overload, try out Lighthouse.