High volume subscriptions via IM

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Deane’s getting overwhelmed by high-volume feeds in his reader.

I find with these that whenever I open Bloglines, there are a couple dozen posts. I don’t have the time or inclination to read them all right then, so I leave them. Then, next time, there are more. Eventually Bloglines tops out at 200 unread posts, and I click on the blog title just to get rid of the unread and start over.

It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but I’m finding that the best way for me to keep up with high-volume feeds is to get them out of my reader and into Feed Crier. This is especially true for those feeds that you skim but don’t read every item in depth.

A trick I learned long ago for dealing with high-volume email lists was to eschew the digest version and ask for individual messages. Route them to a different mailbox or folder if you don’t want to crowd the inbox, but make sure you get single messages. That way, you can skim the subject lines and mass-delete items that you aren’t interested in. If you get the digest you’re forced to read—or at least find the end of—every single item.

The same tactic is helping me manage high volume feeds like programming.reddit.com, the Tailrank front page, and Dzone. As the items are posted, I get an IM with a short summary of the item and at a glance I can tell if I want to read more or not. (You need to be a Feed Crier Pro subscriber to get summaries.)

With these same feeds in my reader, instead of making several small decisions each day about items I want to read, I’m faced with spending one big chunk of time skimming through all the posts in a feed, most of which are irrelevant to me.

Give it a try. Right now Feed Crier is allowing unlimited feed subscriptions per account, so you can experiment with this all you want.

Bryan Price
November 21, 2006 6:26 PM

I've got all my feeds sorted into folders. I prioritize what I want to keep up by how I use the folders. If I'm trying to keep my blood pressure down, I merely click on the Politics folder, and then another folder just to clean them out. I'm thinking about dividing that folder into three parts, Folks I tend to agree with, Folks I tend to disagree with, and other (for those I haven't read enough to figure out). But even then, reading those I agree with can still raise my pressure, so I'm good for now. :) I've got a shopping folder set up and when I am shopping, I browse it, otherwise I just ignore it. My weather folder is pretty much ignored right now. Hurricane season is (almost) over. I always read my blogging folder, my community folder, my local to me folder and my space folder. Anything else, I read if I have the time, otherwise, I clear it out and start new. I also skim quite a bit. I've been on high volume email lists, 200/day, and that was in the day of 28K modems. 8-X I still have a login, but I haven't turned that tap on in quite some time. Kill by address is good. :) I just wish I could have gotten Kill by address in the mail body back then. Thunderbird and it's filtering would probably work nowadays.

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