Like me, if you have subscribed to 300+ rss feeds in your feedreader and the signal/noise ratio is affected your productivity, let me first tell you that you aren’t the only one!
As content world explodes and we consume more and more content, signal/noise too will vary. If you are the one who wants to improve your productivity and believe in what you ‘must’ read philosophy, follow these steps.
- Delete all feeds you have subscribed to.
Yes. Delete them all. No mercy. Once you are done, pat yourself – ‘coz you are heading to do the next best thing.
- Add only those feeds that you recall.
Rely on your memory. And your memory will tell you all those important sites you really really want to read. While you can always argue that one should look at Google reader trends data, I can only tell you that ‘what you read most’ is not ‘what you want to read most’ (trust me on this!).
- Define some Rules.
Maintain certain rules/discipline – for instance, I have decided to not read blogs who publish partial feeds. (but will subscribe to newspapers, even though they publish partial feeds). It’s about the intent with which you subscribe to some content feed – news or insights?
So define that intent – and filter out blogs/sites who do not add value.
- Define some more rules !
Every Monday morning, mark all your feeds ‘read’. If you haven’t read it till date, chances are that you won’t get time to read it (after all, bloggers will add to information overload by pushing newer content).
So, it’s safe to mark all your feed items read. Just do it.
- Watch what you subscribe to.
Many a times, I have subscribed to a blog, because of a few interesting article(s). Even after this feed cleaning process, I will continue to do the same.
But with one condition (and strongly recommended to you too).
Put them in a folder (I call it ‘watchdog’) – and over a period of time, see if the blog is really useful or not. Sometimes only few articles of a blog appeal – so it’s really important to not get overloaded by other articles.
- Last, but not the least – Rely on your friends !
This is my favorite. I use Google Reader and rely on my friends’ sharing activity to find the most compelling content.
For instance, even though I enjoy reading smashingmagazine, I really don’t need to receive their post the moment it’s published. I’d rather rely on my friends (who will filter out if the post is really useful or not) to share that with me (and they do!).
And mind you, you get what you give. So do share useful stuff with your friends (like this post :D)
From 300, my feeds are reduced to 35 – over a period of time, I know it will go to 70 – but not 300! What’s important is that I am reading what I really really want to read.
And the most important stuff, subscribe to this site 😀 (put it under ‘watchdog’ and if you unsubscribe later, do tell us why!)
Share with us how do you combat rss feed overload. What are the tricks that work for you.