Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Keep Doing This!

Tēnā koutou katoa – Greetings to you allLink to Google Reader

This keeps happening to me. My RSS Reader gets filled up in no time so that I have hundreds of unread posts. I have to have a read-in to clear them all. It’s not as if I don’t read posts, but it just keeps happening if I miss a day or so. I find it a pain to catch up.

Part of my problem is that I have an eclectic taste for topics – just check out my index and you’ll see what I write about.

500 blogs a day!

Just over a year ago I read about Kevin Hodgson and his amazing use of the RSS Reader – skimming 500 blogs a day. I even posted about it! At the time, I thought that this was something I might aspire to.
Not any more. I have 156 subscriptions in my reader at the moment.

Over the year I’ve been blogging, many bloggers have posted with disdain about their RSS Reader getting clogged up with unread posts. It’s often because they’ve been busy with a project, or been on vacation for a while. I’ve even been daft enough to try to give advice to some who may have requested it – but I was sticking my neck out - I’m certainly no expert at this. Here’s some of the things I (tried to) do:

Try to get real

I just get real and cull. But where to start is always the difficult decision. I recall Sue Waters commenting on how often a blogger should post. She wasn’t so much giving advice on the frequency of posting, more reporting on what she’d learnt about teachers and what they preferred when it came to a blogger’s rate of output – all useful information. Sue spoke of “readers in the edublogger community who unsubscribe if a blogger posts too frequently”.

She made me think immediately of a few bloggers whose sites I’d already subscribed to and who thump out more posts in a day than I could possibly publish in a week! No names mentioned here, but some of these sites are owned by ace bloggers. Their stuff is worthwhile reading, and I just do not want to remove subscriptions to their sites.

I’m always reluctant to cull blogs just because they happen to be on the list and haven’t posted in ages. Providing their stuff is good, I don’t mind the subscriptions staying where they are - no problem.

Syndicate sites

I subscribe to a number of syndicate sites and I also subscribe to the contributing sites. I could unsubscribe these individual sites, but I often find the individual subscriptions useful. Anyway, they are really just nuisance value, for if I’ve read the posts from one subscription it’s easy to mark as read on the other.

So what do I do? Develop some whiz routine for culling subscriptions? Ignore the counter on the RSS Reader and continue reading as normal?

What do you do to keep the subscriptions in your RSS under wraps?

Ngā mihi nui – Best wishes


Anonymous said...

I've separated my RSS feeds into folders that are topical but also time sensitive: meaning I can then decide that today, I only have time to read personal blog posts made by my friends, or today, I have time to read all the innumerable posts on all the tech blogs I subscribe to. If I can't keep up with one folder, I'm liberal with the "mark all as read" button. Easiest way for me to keep up.

Teaching Sagittarian said...

I am the same as Vasta. My folders are 'must read' and 'might read'. The 'must read' are blogs that I read religiously and wouldn't miss, regardless of how often they post or don't post. 'Might read' - that's my skim reading folder. If the title catches my eye I will read it, otherwise I'm pretty liberal with the "mark all as read" too. Another way I don't miss out on too much 'good' stuff is taking notice of the Friends Shared Items in my Google Reader. When someone in my PLN shares an item (and they obviously feel that it's worth sharing with their PLN) it turns up there, so I usually read those too. For some reason, they are usually posts from blogs that aren't in my reader - I don't have to subscribe because my PLN will share it!

Ken Stewart said...

I think my biggest mental block was overcoming guilt. For a long stretch I felt as though I was obligated to read every post (or at least offer a cursory scan of the content - not just the title).

Lately, as I focus on streamlining my processes once again, I just started taking notice of content I was just not consuming - and dropping it. Past that, I am now trying to figure out how to get new - but useful - content into my feed...

Warmest Regards,

Sue Waters said...

Hi Ken, I'm the same as the rest. I sort all my subscriptions into folders and then feel comfortable marking some folders as unread.

Another way of trimming is to have the blogs in folders. Let the posts fill up for a few days where you don't read. Since I have to then read them faster I helps me work out if there are any specific blogs I tend to skim read (hence do I really need to keep).

Mostly I hate removing any blog because searching Google Reader is my most important source of information when researching information for a post.

However another point I consider when deciding to keep a blog subscription or delete is to consider would I write comments on the person's post. There are a few well known bloggers that rarely respond back to readers, so I don't bother writing comments.

V Yonkers said...

I find the readers difficult to keep up with so I use the RSS as a tool bar to specific sites which I read regularly (You're blog is on my iGoogle). When I have time I go to other blogs, but for the most part I I stick with the 14 or so "regulars" (most of which are on the tool bar on my blog).

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tenei to mihi ki a koutou!

Thank you all for this advice - I have a few folders in my RSS but it looks like I need more! And I haven't used the ones I have enough. I now have my week-end blog project mapped out!

Haere mai Vasta!

A good idea for a folder for personal - yes, I use the 'mark all as read' too. It's magic!

Hare mai Chrissy!

I like your categories for folders - a skim reading folder :-) for instance.

Kia ora Ken!

Ah! Guilt! Yes it's something that doesn't sit well with commitment but often accompanies it. Streamlining - that's where it's at!

Tēnā koe e Sue!

Yup. I don't like culling blogs either - for the same reason as you give. You showed me how to use the Reader for searching - some time ago now. That is a good tip. I've used it ever since.

Tēnā koe Virginia!

Using the blog tool-bar is a good idea! Thanks for the tip on iGoogle. I'll explore these options.

Catchyas later

Jo Fothergill said...

I'm like most of the others - i have folders: friends; family; professional; geeky etc

I find during term time I don't have a lot of time to spend reading blog posts (mostly i read ones via twitteR) - i stay up to date during teh holidays and 2-3 times a term i clear out my rss feed - and there are folders where i'm not too worried if i mark them all read (like my mashable folder)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Haere mai!

Kia ora Dragonsinger57!

My time for catching up is the weekend, mostly when I'm not doing things with family - but now that a lot of them are overseas and they are also web2.0ites, I spend even more time at weekends on the computer.

Nice to have you drop by!

Catchya later