RSS is an amazing technology which helps you to read different websites and blogs through your feed reader. It saves you a lot of time because you don't need to visit your favorite blogs everyday if you are subscribed to them in your feed reader. Apart from saving you time, it also brings in a world of information and knowledge and acquaints you with the latest happenings in your fields of interest. And it does all that at one place - your RSS feed reader.
However, keeping aside the numerous merits of RSS, it could well be addictive too. Yes, when you subscribe to a huge number of RSS feeds, you could easily end up spending hours everyday just reading feeds. And that's when you conclude that you are a victim of RSS overload and you need to do something about it.
So here are those 8 tips which will help you manage your RSS feeds in a better manner and avoid RSS overload.
- Make a ' Primary ' or ' Everyday ' Folder
You may have different folders in your feed reader, but I strongly suggest you to create a folder named 'Primary' or 'Everyday', which will house all those blogs which are your favorites and you have to read them everyday or have to read them first.
- Make a ' News ' Folder
In the list of your favorite blogs/sites, it's possible that you've got NY Times and Techmeme. Put such news feeds in a separate 'News' Folder. DO NOT put them in your primary folder. The news related blogs or websites produce tons of posts everyday and it's better to create a separate folder for them.
- Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Most of the feed readers provide keyboard shortcuts. I use Google Reader and it has some excellent keyboard shortcuts which help me wade through feeds quickly. So whichever feed reader you use, just make sure you utilize its keyboard shortcuts feature to read feeds at a good pace.
- Track your time
If you think that you are reading too many feeds everyday and are addicted to it, it's better to set a time frame for reading feeds. You should not compromise your other important tasks by spending hours in reading feeds.
- Create an ' Unread ' Folder
If you come across an article which you would like to read word-by-word later, then instead of marking it as unread, transfer it to a folder named 'Unread '. Then you can set a particular time of the day to read the articles in your unread folder. If you just mark them as unread, then chances are you will miss them later due to the ever increasing new items in your feed reader.
- Mark all as read when required
You come back from a vacation and find 1,000+ articles in reader. What do you do ? Start reading them? I think it's better to mark all of them as read because there are simply too many to read. However before you do that, read the next point.
Before you mark all the feeds as read, you could always search for some specific terms or keywords in your feed reader and get acquainted with the latest happenings in your fields of interest. Most of the feed readers like Google Reader and FeedDemon have nice search features and help you to search through feeds easily.
- Analyze once in a while
We come across new blogs, like them and add them to our feed reader. Thats what RSS is for, but once in a while you should also analyze your feed reading habits and check which feeds you are paying attention to and what you need to get rid of. This again depends on your feed reader and what kind of analysis tools it provides. For example FeedDemon has a Reports feature and Google Reader provides Trends. Here is an article which explains how to use the trends feature in Google Reader to manage RSS overload.