Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Decluttering the Blog Subscriptions

list of blog subscriptions, in Google Reader

Unsubscribing from all email/newsletters/blogs that don't make me say "awesome!" when I read them. -- Scott Stratten, UnMarketing

I subscribe to a lot of blogs - some for work, some for personal reasons - but as of now, I subscribe to about 20% fewer than I did a few hours ago. That's because I decided to follow Scott's lead.

Now, some of the blogs I removed from my list on Google Reader were not really a problem; they weren't being published any more, anyway. But I also removed blogs that fit into one of these categories:

- Blogs that might indeed provide good information sometimes, but the format is just too annoying. That includes blogs with color combinations that hurt my eyes, and blogs that don't leave any space between the paragraphs - also hard on the eyes.

- Blogs I thought I should read, because they relate to my industry, but I just didn't enjoy them. There are plenty of industry-related blogs I do enjoy reading; there's no point in forcing myself to read the others.

- Blogs I tried out for a while, but they just didn't capture my attention, so it was time to end the trial and take them off my list.

It's amazing how good it feels to do even a little decluttering like this! And of course it will save me time every day, too.

Technical note: I subscribe to blogs in Google Reader - an RSS reader - rather than by e-mail. If you want to learn about RSS, you can watch the RSS in Plain English video or read The Simple Guide to RSS Readers.


Dallee said...

Thanks for this post -- and the link to a video explanation of RSS subscriptions (which was ever so clear!).

I've done a similar thing with email newsletters, which were taking way too much time. I save one copy (in Gmail, I created a category called "Unsubscribed") and then unsubscribe. That gives me a link so that I could re-subscribe if I find that I miss the newsletter. One probably could do the same thing with a "favorite" tag in one's browser, but this approach works for me.

Has saved me a lot of email inbox cleaning!

Again, thanks!

cnuland said...

I read my RSS feeds using a Firefox addon called Brief (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4578). I like it because it shows my list of blogs in a sidebar. It will auto-check for new posts, and can even automatically remove posts older than a certain number of days (so it stays less cluttered).

Brief uses feeds stored in Firefox's Live Bookmarks. Since they are "just" bookmarks, every once in a while, I will go and change the names of all the feeds to have three underscores (___) in the front. Each time I find a post in a blog I liked reading, I change the name again, removing an underscore. At the end of a month or two, any blogs that still have all three underscores should probably be removed from my list.

Jeri's O&D News blog has already passed this month's purging :).

Jeri Dansky said...

Dallee and Cnuland, thank you for sharing your approaches. It's always interesting to hear what's worked for other people.

Cnuland, I hope I'm still in your RSS list, all these months later!