Monday, May 5, 2008

RSS Feeds: Embrace A Low Information Diet

By Matt:

I glanced at the Trends report in my Google Reader a few days ago: 130 feed subscriptions; 1,121 unread items.

I have no intention to read all of these items, and that does not stress me out.

Every few days I glance through outstanding posts in key categories and review a handful of them. I focus on my friend's blogs, blogs that will help me advance personally / professionally, and key blogs for networking purposes. Everything else... "Mark All As Read".

Just do it and be done with it. You can't try to consume everything. Make decisions on the front end about where your priority sources of consumption come from (your subscriptions), and then within those sources pick and choose what you're going to spend the time to read.

In a high information world it is impossible to consume all of the available knowledge. But if you define your priorities and act deliberately when choosing what to read, you take the stress out of information consumption. Sometimes it is best to admit defeat; embrace a low information diet and never again feel the compulsion to read all of your RSS feeds.


Michael Henreckson said...

I suffer from RSS overload at times myself. Google Reader says I've read 1700 things over the past week. I've got it tricked though because the truth is that I've marked 1700 things as read. I only read about 25% of what shows up in my feed reader. I skim and pick the interesting ones. (Another reason why titles are important.)

A key thing to keep in mind is that an RSS item is not an email. It's not addressed to you, and if you miss it, no one's going to fee slighted.

buje said...

Hello, new reader here.
I'm using Brief with Firefox.
To avoid RSS overload I have splitted my RSS bookmarks into separated folders, each one corresponding to a reading context.

This brought me some discipline in my readings.

More here (in french, but english version to come) :