Managing Your Blog Feeds

May 25th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

Take a feed, leave a feed

I subscribe to a number of blog feeds via RSS, but I can’t possibly subscribe to all the interesting blogs out there. I quickly realized that if I kept subscribing to more feeds, I’d never keep up with them all.

I figured out that 20 blog feeds would be a reasonable number of subscriptions for me, so whenever I add a new feed, I delete an old one.

What have you done for me lately?

When I have to decide which feed to delete, I ask myself which blog on my list provides the least actionable material. Many feeds I’ve subscribed to have offered some amazing information and insights, but if I’m not getting ideas that alter my actions, those feeds are targets for deletion. I also consider the signal-to-noise ratio of each blog. What percentage of those posts give me actionable ideas? How much effort is required to find those gold nuggets?

My preference for actionable ideas is personal of course; most of my feeds are in the area of personal development, so I’m looking for ideas I can apply. The way you evaluate the quality of feeds will likely be different.

I’ve been doing this for months now, and it’s raised the average quality of blogs I subscribe to, so I’m getting more actionable information for less effort.

Trim the feed fat

Quality is more important than quantity. If you have too many feed subscriptions and want to cut back, then delete 2-3 feeds whenever you add a new one until you reach a manageable level. This will gradually trim the feed fat and increase the average quality of your feeds. You can also apply this idea to managing your web site bookmarks if you find your collection is growing too large.

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