43 Folders

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Too many RSS feeds? Put ’em on probation

rethink(ip) - Controlling RSS Overload...Animal House Style

Good idea for managing the RSS feeds you think you might be able to live without:

Most aggregators allow you to create "groups" for your blogs. I have groups for "blawgs," "bored," "technology," etc. (see a picture below). The most important group of all is called "Probation." Into the Probation group goes every new blog I add to my aggregator. EVERY one. Consider it a quarantine tank for your RSS aquarium. Once a month, go through your Probation group and cull the herd, promoting some to the big leagues, while giving others the boot.

At a more byzantine stage, I did something kind of similar to this--but in less-effective reverse.

I actually had a folder called "Sequester" where I'd throw any feed that was starting to get on my nerves (too many [kitty photos | jokey memes | posts about the salvation promised by Longhorn/Vista]). In NetNewsWire (and probably others) you can set a custom refresh time for a feed or its parent folder (cf.) to, in this instance, ensure you get a nice break from the bothersome content.

So, for example, you could say to check your "Sequester" folder just every 72 hours. When the updates pop up, you can decide whether your ardor has truly cooled enough to unsubscribe (at which point, if you're like me, you move the feed to "Deleted" with "Don't Refresh this Feed" selected).

Managing the glut of easy-to-subscribe RSS feeds is an issue I hear people asking about all the time. Do you have a good trick for culling your XML herd?

[thanks, Ian]

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
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