I was catching up on my RSS feeds on Friday and realised that it had become a chore.
I’m not sure when this happened? Probably gradually over the last few weeks and months, like the metaphorical boiling frog.
In his chapter from Blogging Heros, Chris Andersen (Editor of Wired and author of The Long Tail) talks about the problem of keeping on top of his 220 feeds:
“I am suffering from too much information (I realize this is a somewhat cliched complaint), and it is difficult to manage. In the same way it’s taken us decades to perfect inbox management (which we still haven’t gotten right), I think that what I call … ‘feed management’ is going to take us decades to get right too.”
So, in an effort to get my “feed garden” in order I’ve spent a few hours over the weekend pruning. I’ve ended up with 99 active feeds + a handful that have been inactive for a while now, but which I will leave there in case the authors decided to start up again (probably mostly wishful thinking, but that’s okay).
That seems like a number I can reasonably keep on top of, but we’ll see.
I think there are two challenges:
Firstly, the discipline to remove feeds when they become no longer relevant. I wonder if a one-in/one-out approach would work?
Secondly, accepting that you don’t need to read EVERY post. I love the “J” key in Google Reader, but it would be even better if I could just quickly mark older posts as read, while leaving more recent posts unread (as previously requested).
Along these lines I was interested to note this week that FeedDemon have added a “panic” button to their feed reader client which pretty much does this exactly.
How many feeds do you follow?
Are you keeping up?
Is it a chore?