I’ve been a longtime user of RSS feeds, and therefore Feed Readers, such as Google Reader back in the day. I’ve gone from Google Reader to Feedly and in the past couple years have bounced around from various services such as Inoreader, Feedbin, and others.
Hundreds of feeds
As a result, I’ve accumulated hundreds of feeds over the years. And keeping up with them has been a hassle. In fact, I felt an urge every day to process all of my feeds, like I do with an email inbox. This resulted in unnecessary anxiety. Sounds stupid, but that’s life.
So, a couple of months ago, I thought I would drop all of my feeds and only subscribe back to the few that I actually miss. This helped tremendously. I’m back to a handful of new items every day that I can easily get through in one sitting.
In an attempt to keep myself from over subscribing, I try to follow a few rules.
- Follow people, not organizations. This means no feeds from big companies, like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and the big news companies like The Verge. There is simply too much noise.
- Add new feeds to a special folder, which I review periodically. If the content is not providing value, I unsubscribe. If I enjoy it, I’ll move it to my main folder. This gives me a chance to follow a few new sources and see how they hold up.
- If I can’t get through my feeds in 30 minutes or less, then I need to start purging again.
The email inbox for RSS?
I also tried using email instead of a feed reader. In this case, I subscribed to more newsletters and used Blogtrottr to send RSS feeds to my email every day. It was nice in that I could create a daily digest of some feeds.
I decided I definitely want to keep the content I wish to read separate from my email. Mixing them was a mess.
I stopped doing this.
I also started adding all of my YouTube subscriptions to my RSS feeds. Subscribing to my favorite YouTube channels through RSS is a success. While it adds more feeds, it keeps me off the YouTube home page and lets me consume videos without the algorithm getting involved.
I also tried adding my Micro.blog feeds to my feed reader.
While it’s useful to see my timeline in my RSS reader, it adds a lot of noise. Moreover, I enjoy using the Micro.blog app. I think it is set up in a way that lets me skim the latest and ignore the rest. It also gives me direct access to comments and the option to reply myself.
Therefore, I no longer subscribe to my Micro.blog timeline through my feed reader.
What I’m using
I’m currently using Reeder on iOS as my feed reader, and I’m enjoying it.
There are also a few newsletters that don’t provide RSS that I subscribe to. I use Kill the Newsletter to convert these emails into an RSS Feed. It works flawlessly, and it’s free.