Dec 12

is still a smart friend who reads a bunch of feeds and has coffee with you once in awhile.

It’s not Bloglines (though, Mark Fletcher, you are my hero). It’s not Google Reader with it’s dominant market share. Newsvine, Thunderbird and Newsgator… negative ghostrider.

We were talking about this on a walk yesterday- if you’re like me you’ll go through cycles where you purge every feed you’re tracking. Over time you slowly accumulate new ones feeling like you might be missing out on important developments until you realize you’re under water again in a noisy sea of posts ignoring 90% of them anyways. So you prune everything back- the veritable “binge & purge of RSS consumption.”

The happy medium I’ve ultimately settled upon is to follow a small subset of blogs and a few news sites and look to a handful of respected individuals and groups for awareness on important industry developments. RSS was a great invention to amplify one’s ability to track stuff of interest from a bunch of disparate sources- the first layer of amplification was centralizing all these sites into one reader. But the next layer of amplification is learning to rely upon trusted experts in the various fields of importance to filter the noise, synthesize the relevant info with their own expertise and share the important insights in person (and ideally, in a group of experts). Like roots of a tree that continuously branch for maximum surface area and absorption, this is why groups like Refresh are hugely valuable and why hubs of face-to-face casual interaction like Google campus and the coffee shops in San Francisco are such hotbeds of innovation.

4 Responses to “The best cross-platform RSS feed reader”

  1. […] Blog: Scrollin’ On Dubs Author: Sean Tierney Company: JumpBox Post Title: The best cross-platform RSS feed reader […]

  2. […] Robert Scoble recently wrote about the value of the number of people you follow, and how he thinks it is more important of a metric than the number of people who follow you. I definitely do not disagree with the importance of listening to many sources (I even wrote about and agree with Sean Tierney’s thoughts on people who subscribe to many RSS feeds). However, the number itself is not a metric of the value of one’s content. Anyone, especially uninteresting people, can follow thousands of users on Twitter. […]

  3. Cheryl Colan says:

    Google reader lost me as soon as I realized I couldn’t find a “mark all as read” button or checkbox during one of my “purge” moments.

  4. Josh Scribner says:

    I have found that the Feed Reader problem you describe is the same problem people face in dealing with any large body of rapidly growing information. Organization of the material, based on your goals and needs, is critical.

    For example, I have my feeds split first between personal and business, then split again into categories — like news, industry blogs, server updates, etc. Within those are high priority and low priority folders, and only then do the feeds appear.

    When I read content, I use the folder aggregators. I delete everything after I have handled it, and I don’t feel bad about trashing thousands of entries from the low priority folders. A little ruthlessness, and a recognition that if it was a high priority it would have showed up on some of the expert blogs (as you describe). I put those in the high priority folders.

    Josh Scribner – IBM Social Computing Advocate
    (these comments are my own and not necessarily representative of IBM’s positions, strategies, or opinions)

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