Dealing With the RSS Feed Avalanche

3 comments

On Friday, I posted about having over 60 blogs that I read on a daily basis. Of course, this is pretty much impossible to do for anyone who has any responsibilities at all. Yes, thanks to our wonderful publisher, Boris, and our advertising director, Alex, who take care of everything so that I can do nothing all day but read blogs :)

Anyway, as I was saying, SEM blogs are great sources of information, probably even more so than forums and articles. In fact, I haven’t seen that many good articles published since blogs became popular.

So as any model search engine advertiser/marketer, you’ve added dozens of great SEM blogs to your Bloglines account or Firefox Live Bookmarks or Google Reader. Then maybe a few humor blogs and one or two political blogs. The next day you check your feeds and notice that there were about ten gazillion new posts made since yesterday. How are you supposed to go through all of them??!!!

Matt from 37signals has an interesting post on this very topic. But his post was not that useful by itself. It was the comments section that had a wealth of important suggestions. Here are just a few I found to be useful:

1. “I use Bloglines, and it got kind of chaotic until I switched the view so that I only saw the headlines. Now I scan the headlines, and if something sounds interesting, I can click through.”

2. “Using the amazingly amazing Google Reader, I’ve set up a tag called “_mustread” which I apply to my most important feeds. The leading underscore makes it stay at the top of the tags list. I’ve even set Google Reader to start in that tag when I open it, so all I immediately see is new stuff from the feeds that are most important to me.”

3. “To succeed at filtering the many feeds that RSS addicts have come to subscribe to – the user needs to actively participate in revisiting the feeds and see who continues to produce quality content, and if they are posting often. If I see infrequent postings from a blogger, I’ll unsubscribe. If I feel the quality of the content is falling, I’ll unsubscribe.”

4. “Group your feeds by behaviour…it’s easier to pick off the low hanging fruits and slowly chip away at the backlog rather than sticking rigidly to subject taxonomies that are usually inadequate and give you no sense of how far through the job you are.”

5. “For enterprise users and Outlook users there’s Attensa for Outlook. It has an automatic prioritization scheme that works in the background as you read your feeds. It observes your behavior as you read through your feeds and continously prioritizes your feeds to bring the feeds that are most important to you to the top of a river of news…automatically.”

6. “I’m using Netvibes to collect and show my feeds in one glance. The nice thing about Netvibes as that you can control the number of posts that are shown. So if you want to see just the last 5 instead of 20, you can do that.”

Here are a few more blog posts on how to deal with feed overload:
Dealing with feed overload
Information Overload

I hope this information will help you organize your feeds and maybe even let you work for an hour or two after you are done reading all of the SEM blogs on your list. If you have any other ways to organize your feeds, please let us know.

About the Author

Andrey Milyan was the first editor-in-chief of Search Marketing Standard, the leading print publication covering the search marketing industry. He has been following and reporting on industry developments for over 10 years. Andrey now works in the paid search sector of a prominent search marketing agency.

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3 Comments

  1. I was a huge fan of Google Personalised Homepage until i discovered Netvibes. Now i have a total of 36 SEM, SEO and Search Ramblings on a single tab. its alot to go through each day but worth it in the end!

  2. Boris Mordkovich

    Luke,

    Is SMS Blog one of those 36? :)

    Boris

  3. Luke McCallum

    Hi Boris, sorry for the extremely late reply. Yes SMS is one of the many sites i view on a daily basis.
    Since my last post on this subject my llist has grown considerably as well.

    There is just too much to learn!