Blog overload

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A couple years ago, I tried and failed to bat back the tangled mess my RSS reader had become. (Categories helped me prioritize, and I cut some subscriptions, like BoingBoing, that I knew I could never keep up with… but I’ve still got more than a thousand unread posts.)

Social media mavens say that people are relying more on their friends (through Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and less on personal subscriptions to keep up with Internet content. That isn’t quite true in my case — I’m on Facebook, but I’m not very active, and I gravitate first to sites like the New York Times and Slate, which I’ve had bookmarked for years — though I often find great blogs and articles through Quo Vadis’s own social media presence. Still, I’d be curious to learn more about other people’s habits. What’s your preferred mode of navigation and/or discovery? Has it changed over the past few years?

5 thoughts on “Blog overload

  1. I do not use Facebook or Twitter, but I subscribe to a number of blogs through my RSS reader. I try to limit the blogs to just those that I am truly interested in, and if I begin to lose interest in a blog, or if I find that I am skimming over the posts rather than reading them closely, I will unsubscribe. I tend to avoid sites that produce so much content that it makes it hard to keep up with reading the posts. Unread posts make me feel guilty, so if they start building up, I will probably unsubscribe from that site. I am beginning to build my career as a writer, and so it is important for me to limit the amount of time I spend online reading blogs. The less time I spend reading, the more time I can spend writing. I enjoy the blogs I read, but I do not want them to take over my life.

  2. I ditched Facebook. It reminds me of children squabbling in a sandbox. Bad language, bad behavior and too much drama. I use RSS to dump into my email, which is all I read anymore. If I find a site is overloading me or ceases to be of interest, I unsubscribe. Don’t twit, don’t do anything else other than phone, snail mail and face time as I’ve decided to live in the now and use the off button to take back my life and my time. It’s too valuable to be taken up by a flood of trivial nonsense.

  3. I’ve been using Protopage for years, it combines my RSS feeds, gathered together under different tabs for different topics, and book marks as well. So no matter which machine or which operating system I’m using (and I use several!) I always have my news feeds and my bookmarks… it works for me.. and it’s a UK firm too.

  4. I subscribe to blogs via email so the ones I’m interested in come straight to my inbox. I limit this number to just a few so my inbox doesn’t get overwhelmed.

    I’m on Facebook but I really don’t like it. Maybe it’s good if you’re interested in trying to connect with as many people as possible, but that’s not what I use it for. I use it to keep up with a few people.

    I mainly use Twitter to find new things that interest me. I like being able to filter content by subjects via Lists so I can read what I’m in the mood for. But, Twitter can be very time consuming so I have to watch that I’m not spending too much time on it.

  5. I subscribe to whatever interests me at the time and put it in my RSS reader. Then, every once in a while, I take a look at what blogs or sites I find I’m not reading. If I see there is a huge unread count and I’m always just marking them as read without actually reading them, I simply unsubscribe. At first this wasn’t easy, because I wondered if I might miss the post of the century, but over time it becomes easy.

    Some sites I read through my reader almost religiously, but then after some time found my interests had changed and stopped reading them at all. Others I thought would be interesting, but then discovered I never started reading them. Still others I read and continue to read.

    I came to the conclusion that this is how it goes with RSS. Find sites to read, read them, eventually lose interest in some and unsubscribe. I don’t worry about it any more. Having a large unread count of posts you’re not going to read give you an itch in your brain, so I just got rid of them.

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