A Finely Curated RSS Reader Honed Over Time is a Beautiful Thing
The other day I came across and engaged in a Facebook conversation about the often futile attempt to keep informed and stay current while filtering the noise. Trimming your Twitter and Facebook connections helps, but a finely tuned RSS reader will keep you up-to-date, without the noise.
Google Reader is the grand-daddy of RSS readers, but there are others like the excellent NetNewsWire for Macs and FeedDemon for Windows.
Be kind to your inbox
Start by getting rid of your current email subscriptions to blogs and news sites. When blogs and websites add new content, you can generally choose to be notified via email or RSS subscription. Choose RSS. Always.
No one wants more emails. We access our inbox, quickly respond and delete the email. Email subscriptions go largely unread. However, when we check our RSS subscriptions, we’ve usually set aside that time to scan and read.
When you come across an article or post that you like, take a minute to peruse the site. If the content appeals to you, subscribe. Some sites offer the option to subscribe to topic-specific feeds.
Some sites don’t offer an RSS feed, and I can only imagine that it’s an attempt to build an email list or to ensure that potential site visitors don’t consume information in their RSS reader. This does a disservice to their vistors and is somewhat short-sighted.
Browser extensions like Chrome’s Page2Rss offer a solution for sites without RSS feeds by providing the option to track the website for changes when no feed is detected.
Turn down the noise and keep your feed lean and useful by unsubscribing to feeds that are no longer active, sites that update too frequently, and content that you’re no longer interested in.
This is key. Hone ruthlessly.
Now that your feed is lean and mean, organize it by folders. Group feeds by topic like Entrepreneurship, Blogging, Tech, and Productivity. I have about a dozen folders and am able to quickly locate and scan priority topics when strapped for time.
Set aside 30 minutes every day, and with a bit of time and effort, these practices will help you to keep up-to-date on your favorite topics from your favorite sites…without being overwhelmed.
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