Declaring RSS Feed Bankruptcy

When there are just too many posts to read.

When I started subscribing to feeds about a year or so ago, I only subscribed to a handful and quickly read through the new posts each day. In fact, I recall asking other readers for suggestions on feeds I should subscribe to.

Things change. I began accumulating feeds. I use endo, an offline feed aggregator, and I’m very pleased with it. It sucks down my feeds each morning when the computer starts up and presents them to me as I’ve organized them, so I can read them at my leisure.

Unfortunately, I started subscribing to a number of feeds that put out 5 to 10 new posts a day. And there were more than a few days that I didn’t read any new posts. And then days when I felt rushed and put aside certain feeds for another day. And another day.

The problem got serious. At one point, I had over 2,000 unread posts in endo. Not acceptable. I killed off a bunch of feeds that were just too heavy with a low percentage of content that actually interested me.

But today I decided to take drastic steps. I went into endo and deleted any unread post that hit the Web before August 1. That brought 1300 unread posts down to 124. A much more reasonable number.

Did I miss great content? Possibly. But one of the things I’ve noticed — especially in blogs about blogging — is that the same basic topics come up over and over again. If you missed the “5 Ways to Energize Feeds” this week, you’ll catch the “7 Ways to Make Your Feed Pop!” next month. You get the idea. Same old, same old. You can read this stuff for two months before it starts to recycle with very little content that’s really new.

Hmmm…I feel a new topic coming on. I’ll have to put this on my list of things to write about here.

After I’ve gone through those 124 posts waiting for me in endo.

3 thoughts on “Declaring RSS Feed Bankruptcy

  1. Seems we share the same taste in feedreaders.

    As I twittered earlier, I’ve had the same experience. In fact, last night I simply did a “Mark all read” on most of my channels. It’s a nightmare if I go away for a couple of days, since the feeds seem to fill up so quickly. My own problem is that I subscribe to a lot of photo feeds intending just to flick through them… they fill up really quickly and I end up with hundreds of unread items in short order.

    You’re right, it’s usually quite hard to miss things, since they crop up in multiple places.

    I’ve also started to delete stale feeds; the ones I find myself marking “all read” on without clicking on a single item on a regular basis; and partial feeds, which annoy the heck out of me.

    I also try to make more use of del.icio.us and Mister Wong now. I’ll quickly mark stuff for future reference using those, rather than leaving them unread in my feedreader.

  2. Hah! Snap! On Tuesday I created a new folder in NetNewsWire Pro. I called it ‘ignore’ and started moving in feeds I don’t want to actually delete right now, and can’t be bothered setting each one individually to ‘don’t download’.

    I see this morning there are 235 unread items in that folder.

    I’ll be moving more, but that was a start.

    I think there’s just too much information floating around in the world today, and what good does it do us?

What do you think?