15 September 2008

Culling the herd (RSS subscritptions that is)

I just came across this great post by Lee LeFever (of CommonCraft fame) on weeding RSS feed subscriptions. Lee talks about how he was subscribed to feeds not because he wanted to read them, but because he felt he should be reading them. After a period of time of not checking his feeds at all, he decided to start fresh. Now he only subscribes to... well here are his words:
"My RSS reader is now filled with subscriptions to sites that matter to me. These posts are written by people I know and care about. They make me feel like reading RSS is a treat - a few minutes spent being with an old friend."
The post really resonated with me, because this is one of the projects that I've undertaken twice in the last year. In fact I just finished up again today (after reading Lee's post.) I started this weekend by creating a list of all the feeds that I was subscribed too. And then I took a long look at the feeds, what was I getting out of them? Did I start things to follow back up on? How many in the last few months? What information did they really provide? And then I started deleting.

I kept some things like Lifehacker, DownloadSquad even though they post 30 times a day, because for the most part, I do get something out of them. I enjoy seeing what's out there and learning of new technologies. The hard decisions came to those things I felt like I had to be subscribed to, like ResourceShelf. It's got some great information, but the information just didn't seem relevant to me. So I weeded and weeded more.

And after weeding I'm down to 105. I know that sounds like a lot but let me break it down a bit:
10 in Journal subscriptions (update once a month)
5 in Job feeds (you never know)
1 for Hulu updates
15 only update once in a while and are artists or feeds like the Daily Kitten. Their feeds that give me a brief smile, but don't require any thinking.

So that leaves 74. These are feeds that require me to pay attention to what I'm looking at and decide "Is there useful information here?" Of those 74 that are left I feel like I know about 60 of the people that write the blogs through Twitter, FriendFeed, and in some cases I've even met the people(which is always cool and I wanna meet all of them, hopefully that will happen one day.) In many cases they are fellow librarians. Some of these I just added recently and may decide, eh...I can live without them. But for now I stand where I am


Courtney M. said...

I *so* need to do this. I have over 450 feeds - and that's after I've weeded them once. Thanks for the inspiration.

I think I'll keep the Daily Kitten, too. It makes me smile. :-)

Andrew said...

450 feeds? Wow...I was at over 200 the first time I weeded and am glad that I did. I may still weed some of them out, but I feel better about what I have left. Knowing the people that write the material makes a big difference in my reaction to it and how I view it.