Information overload

If I could change one thing in Google Reader this would be it:

I want an easy way to delete all of the posts over 24 hours old (or whatever time-frame I choose).

Lately I haven’t been reading feeds everyday. It’s a healthy change. But, when I do find time to catch-up I find I waste a lot of time reading old news.

When you come home from holiday and find, say, three newspapers sitting on your doorstep, you don’t start with the oldest one. You probably actually throw all three away.

But, with RSS feeds the posts just build up. Same with email, actually.

Are there any feed readers which work like this?

8 thoughts on “Information overload”

  1. There is a sort of “delete all > x hours ago” in Google Reader.

    If you choose “All Items” with “Show: new items” selected, then all your feeds are ordered by age. Read down until you hit the “thats old enough point” and then “Mark all as read”.

    It’s a bit clunky and it doesnt give you arbitary timeframes, but does catch you up quick when you’ve been away a while.

  2. Mmmm, same problem. Like Andrew, I’ve simply been reading the latest few posts then ‘mark all as read’. ‘Ruthless discarding’ seems to be the order of the day.

  3. I tend to practice ZBB (Zero Blog Bounce), though the way I do it is to get rid of posts from blogs that I occasionally read by clicking directly on the blog name, and marking that feed as read.

    Google Reader has a List View that I don’t use, but lets you do something similar to what you want — go to List View, then scroll down to the post you want to start deleting from. Then “j” or “space” down until the remaining posts are marked as read.

    Another idea is to move different feeds into folders based on whether they’re ‘always read’, ‘sometimes read’ or ‘timewasting only’. Then you can click on the folder title and quickly mark those folders as read.

    I find Google Reader pretty good if you want to read (or skim read) everything in your subscription list, but not so good if you want to selectively read stuff. I guess it has been designed with a specific use case in mind.


  4. Reading this from my hotel in Dubai, where for the last half hour I’ve been battling with an overload of posts after a few days backlog. Like Kirk suggested I selected specific lesser value feeds and marked all as read but obviously I didn’t do that to this feed….

  5. NetNewsWire (Pro) is an RSS client that offers a lot of flexiblity. After a time away I’d refresh the posts, mark all as read (one keystroke) and then start from that point.

    You can also choose globally, or per feed, how long to keep news items. It’s totally worth a look.

  6. I prefer using Netvibes as it only shows the latest 10 for each feed I’ve subscribed to. It also feels substantially different to using an email client which is a nice change, the same reason why I still like reading a paper newspaper from time to time.

  7. I read a lot of RSS feeds and I am finding the same thing everyday thousands of new posts.. everyday I find new blogs that I want to continue to read… but I just can’t.

    I’ve been thinking a socially updated program that tags blogs and ranks blog posts so you only read the good stuff is the way to go…

    This way, it doesn’t matter if you’ve read it or not – only the best posts will be pushed to the top and they will be sorted into categories… like tecnology – business – gossip – politics etc and then again by posts into sections like AJAX, .NET, PHP etc…

    So it will be like picking up a newspaper..

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