RSS feeds are much like a garden. If you don’t keep them pruned and trimmed regularly, they’ll crowd in and you won’t go out and garden because it’s such a “big job”. Things get out of control quickly. So, every now and then, I realize I have too many RSS feeds to read them all comfortably and have to go pruning.
A few years ago when I was flirting with doing some tech development work, I allowed my feeds to get into the hundreds and I skimmed them all every day. When I closed off that avenue and decided the life wasn’t for me, I started cutting and pruning. Out went the vast majority of tech-feeds and info. The only ones I really kept were the Apple-centric ones that post about Mac and iPhone related material. Tech feeds are almost non-existent in my world. And now, regular pruning is a habit I encourage in myself.
I also deleted the majority of my garden-related feeds. Most of the writers had started repeating themselves in one way or the other, weren’t publishing enough to stay in my feed or (frankly) simply bored me. I had subbed to many of them because I “should” rather than out of any interest. As of today, there are ten survivors in that folder and one or two are on shaky ground.
I have several other large categories now, those of fiction writers and some science based (Scientific American type) of things that are of interest to some current projects.
But How Do I Evaluate Which To Keep and Which To Drop
That seems to be the point at which people differ but in my case, I do it on the number of flagged articles the author has earned since the last cleanup. Write good stuff – I stay. Bore me – I delete. So every time a post makes me laugh, cry or think about something, I give it a flag. This serves two purposes, it gives me a scorecard for future pruning and it gives me a marker to something I’ve enjoyed. I can evaluate the latter for what makes good content for me (and by extension my readers.)
This morning after two weeks of relative non-reading thanks to a major project and then holidays, I opened the reader to an avalanche of new material. And found myself gravitating towards some authors more than others. If I left you to last, you’re gone because it was time to prune. Two garden bloggers bit the dust leaving ten, two writers from the publishing area, and three social media, marketing types (there’s only one left in that last category now.) Added one science related blog and deleted two others that used to be good but hadn’t been updated in months.
To Be Fair
None of the blogs/feeds I deleted are bad. Most are quite good but it’s a relative score kind of thing at this point. I had to cut the number of feeds to manageable levels and some had to go. My tastes and needs are changing and this is the major reason there’s been a seismic shift in my reading patterns adding a great many more fiction writers rather than garden writers.
What Do I Expect You To Do
I’d expect no less from you reading my stuff. If I don’t teach you something or make you laugh enough, then I’d encourage you to find a writer who does. (there’s an unsub link on the bottom of every update)
You control the delete button on your inbox.
I’d also suggest you do the same thing every now and then. Delete some of the old to make way for the new and keep on finding new ways of thinking and working that help you adjust to your own needs.
But having said that, if you do have ideas about things I can write about that you’d like to see me address, use the contact-me form on the site and I’ll be more than happy to take your suggestions.