Thursday, April 18, 2013

One Trick for Taming My RSS Feedlist

Back when the Internet was having a cow about Google Reader shutting down I read this article in support of the action. And while I disagreed with much of the article, the author did have me at one point:

About a year ago, I stopped bothering with RSS entirely .... By that time, though, my Google Reader inbox was a mess of barely relevant, from countless blogs and sites that I'd discovered and with which I wanted to keep up. There was too much to read, too little time, and much of what rolled under my cursor had little to do with my interests for any given week, let alone a particular day.

What Chris was describing wasn't all that far off from what was going on in my own beloved RSS stream. While I started off organizing the feeds into folders, I soon ended up with a big 'ol mess. I found that I always had something of interest to read, but the noise from a few feeds were drowning out smaller sites.

Organizing by subject, I decided, wasn't the way to go.

After reading the above quote and thinking it through, I decided it was time to try something different. I broke my feeds down into only two groups: Low Volume and High Volume. Low Volume feeds are ones that publish once a day or less, and often correspond to individuals or relatively small communities. High Volume feeds are ones like Buzzfeed or Surivalist Boards that can be interesting, but can also rack up dozes and dozens of posts in a single day.

With the new partition in place, I find that my Low Volume folder often has 10-20 posts in it. It's easy to zip through, and I can give attention to the little guys that I might miss.

When I've got time to kill, I can always flip over to the High Volume folder and see the latest cat pictures or conspiracy theory on the web.

This one approach to organization has definitely made RSS more useful. I now get an easy way to monitor low volume but high quality sites, and a nearly endless stream of content ready for me to peruse when I'd like.

If your feed list is out of control, you may want to give it a try.

Sorry, I couldn't resist riffing on the 1 Tip theme. It's an absolutely evil advertising technique.

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