Monday, November 5, 2007

Productivity and the RSS journey

10 Steps to More Productive Feed Reading | GearFire Student Productivity: "10 Steps to More Productive Feed Reading 28 Feb, 2007 Organization, Productivity Like it or not, RSS is now very popular across the internet, and it is widely believed to be the most productive way of staying updated on your favourite blogs and sites. The ease and efficiency of RSS feeds vs. visiting the actual web page has allowed people to subscribe to many more sites than they would regularly have time to read. Unfortunately, as your feeds pile up, you are forced to spend more and more time on your feed reader. Here are ten steps to (hopefully) help you streamline your feeds, and reduce the time you spend on your feeds each day."

The above is a handy little guide to making better use of RSS feeds. After my Google Reader meltdown the other day I've given my feeds a prune, become more ruthless with marking as read and use the share facility to produce a single source of useful stuff, abandoning the rest by not displaying unread stories.

The RSS journey...
First, you don't know what RSS feeds are.
Then you discover what they are.
Then you discover how useful they are.
Then you find an aggregator / reader and subscribe to a few
Then you subscribe to a few more
Then some more
Then... more
And more
Then, you realise that it's taking you an hour to read the blasted things and RSS is no longer the time saving 'bring it all to you' genius idea you thought it was... so you have to act
So you do
So you cull
So you skim
So you learn the time-saving facilities within your Reader
So you make it useful again and remind yourself that from time to time, marking everything as read and starting afresh is perfectly okay

The CommonCraft "RSS in Plain English" guide starts by saying that "there are two types of internet users. Those that use RSS and those who don't"

I'd go further than that... there are three types. Those that use RSS. Those that don't. Those who use it effectively.

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