Had you checked my inbox about three months ago, you have seen it completely chock full of email subscription to news sites, industry letters, institution reports etc. Politics, world events, marketing, Word-of-the-Day (yes, I am a geek) and more. Literally, we’re talking 20 or 30 or these I was signed up for.
I finally signed up for RSS feeds through bloglines (which I like, but if anyone has any advice on others they’ve found better, let me know). I emptied my email from subscriptions (which is incredibly cleansing and makes me somehow feign that I’m more organized). Now, my process is to always have my bloglines browser open (it has a ton of feeds on it right now), go through once a day (usually in the morning with a cup of coffee, it’s worth getting up half an hour early), read new postings as the day goes along (but not obsessively) and alwasy keep it clean. This is key, at least for me. If I don’t get on the internet for a day or two (everyone should try that), I just skim the postings quickly from the day before, and then delete everything past that. I don’t need it that much. Then the whole thing doesn’t get overwhelming, you have a few posts to read during the day and that’s it.
You can save the ones you want to go back to, and what I usually do as well is I’ll open the feed link to the full article and then read the articles from one feed all at once. For instance, let’s say I’m on BBC News and there are five news stories I want to read. I clean out the Feed on Bloglines, having opened up the articles I want to read further. Boom. BBC is done.
The thing is, I suck up so much information just on skimming. It’s amazing what skimming will do. You put in a little extra effort where you want to, but you get the general sense of what’s going on, and it’s completely manageable.
I also give kudos to Seth Godin for introducing AllTop to me, which basically aggregates a bunch of RSS Feed options under categories for you. The only next step would be to have me click which ones I want from those categories, and send me just one feed… someone get on that (and on that note, I still don’t understand why there are so many websites that don’t do “All Feeds” as an option, please change that too).