The other day I declared RSS Bankruptcy.
Simply put, the approach of having 250+ RSS feeds categorized across dozens of topical folders in Google Reader had reached the point of being unsustainable. I had too much to read (often 1400+ articles if I didn’t touch it all day) and too little time to do it. I in fact came to dread reading my RSS feeds due to the sheer volume, yet I feared missing something important.
Talking inspiration from a 43 Folders post from a few years ago with a few twists of my own, I did the following:
- Exported my OPML file of what became my former feed list.
- Saved an HTML copy of the Google Reader page listing my subscriptions.
- Deleted all RSS feeds and folders from Google Reader.
- Went through my exported list of feeds by hand to determine which ones to subscribe to again.
- Categorized each feed in one of three folders: Read First, Read Next and Someday.
In the end, I had knocked down my list of RSS feeds from 250+ to 120. I also had three folders that allow me to quickly pick off what is important to read:
- Read First is exactly what it sounds like. If I have a little time but not a lot, I dive into this folder first to catch up on news articles and any feed I determined was worth reading no matter what. These are usually time sensitive articles or they are authors who’s writing I so admire that if they write something, it is usually worth my attention.
- Read Next is what I get to if I have some more time and aren’t typically time sensitive. I may go through Read Next once every day or two, typically in a longer session as this maybe a few hundred articles by the time I get to it.
- Someday is what I get to on a slow day. These are not time sensitive articles. Maybe they are a company or person site that I’ve wanted to keep an eye on. I wouldn’t shed a tear if I don’t get to the Someday folder in days or maybe even a week.
It is day three of this approach it has revolutionized my method for consuming information on the Internet. I am not constantly struggling to keep up with my RSS subscriptions. I monitor the Read First folder when I get a few minutes here and there during the day, tackle Read Next typically at night if time allows, and then Someday whenever I feel like it.
Next up…my Twitter follower list.