Towards the back end of last year I was following too many blogs. Getting 300 posts in your RSS reader every day is daunting, trust me. I found myself skimming titles and deleting most posts without even considering them, regardless of how useful they may have been. I couldn’t see what was good and what was bad, and it made the whole thing a bit pointless. But when it came down to taking blogs off my reading list, I found it extremely difficult; if they were on it, they were there for a reason.
So I’ve come up with a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox. A couple of months back, I wrote about the beneficial features of the new RockMelt social web browser, and it’s RockMelt that is at the centre of my new blog-following plan. Rather than using one source for reading blogs, I’m now using three: Google Reader, Facebook and RockMelt. Sounds complicated, but it’s not. To initiate this sneaky plan I first divided the list of blogs I wanted to follow into three tiers:
- Tier 1: those who publish less frequently but the content of which I highly value
- Tier 2: those that publish multiple times per day and need some picking through to identify the juicy nuggets
- Tier 3: the rest, who I like to keep an eye on
As tier 3 is less important to me, I deleted them from my RSS reader and started following via their Facebook pages so they’d appear in my newsfeed. I might not see all of their posts this way, but I can keep an eye on what they’re writing without it being too in my face. With tier 2, I again deleted them from my RSS reader and signed up to their feeds using RockMelt, placing the feeds in the right hand sidebar (for more on how to use RockMelt, see my previous post). Now, every time I’m on the web, I can see whether there are new posts from these blogs, and the easy to read pop-out window means that I can skim titles and summaries in double quick time without the numerous updates swamping the most important tier 1 posts I want to read.
The effect on Google Reader of this organisation is huge. Massive. I can’t stress enough what a revelation this has been to me. I’m now left with 20 or so blogs written by people I highly respect and ALL OF THEIR POSTS ARE VISIBLE. When I login to Reader I now have maybe 10 posts to sift through rather than 100. And that means that I give every single one more time and attention. As a result, I’m reading more relevant information, more challenging opinion and more useful stuff than I ever have before. In fact, I may well INCREASE the number of blogs I follow in Reader as a result.
That’s what I’m doing and I encourage you to try out RockMelt (if you need an invite, let me know) and get yourself organised. I hope you find it useful. But what do you do to keep your blog reading in check?
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