Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Blogging RSS Feeds Blues

How do you keep up with the RSS feeds and follows? I was recently asked about the blog roll on my own blog, and realized that my original list is more of a jumping off spot for me to direct others to several other bloggers that I've come to know. In NO WAY does the roll on my blog reflect the number I'm actually following. Let's just say I follow more than I think I can now possibly keep up with!

On any given day, I like to (doesn't mean it always happens) do a quick run through on any new posts people have made. This used to be an easy task, but has over the past several months grown beyond my capability and was pushed to the weekends. As with anything in life, I'm sure it just takes some sort of consistent habit or pattern; one of which I am completely lacking. As soon as that last school bell rings, it's as if I feel my brain soften into a primordial goo, leaving me barely capable of intelligent thought. I often think to myself, "What's wrong with me?!?" Thankfully, other teachers--and adults in general--have commiserated on this late afternoon shut down, so I know there isn't something completely flawed in my own nature. I'm just rather worthless throughout the work week!

Here's my question, and purpose for this meandering blog post. Now that I've graduated from the weekend perusal of my Google Reader being enough, how might I keep up better? I have so many new and wonderful book blogs that I am excited to follow, yet am falling short. Now what? I've seen discussions on Twitter talking about having things in categories, such as by genre. I've listened to others talk about simply hitting "clear" after seeing how monumentally behind they were in their reading of posts. I know there isn't a hard and fast rule on something such as this, but how often do you clear your feeds, and more importantly, what strategies do you use in keeping up with those you follow? Maybe we need a Google Reader/Feeds Challenge?!? Trust me, I've considered it...

Thanks for lending me your ear, and I look forward to hearing about your techniques and strategies (or at least a bit of commiseration)!


  1. Okay. I'm not perfect with this by any means. I use lots and lots of folders in GR. Probably too many!

    Friends and Family
    Utah Book Bloggers (we have our own feed by the way - did you know Becky?)
    Kidlit Favs
    Kidlit Blogs
    YA Blogs
    Blogging Tips
    Blog Tour Companies
    Book Industry
    Blogs to Watch (meaning I'm currently lurking)

    And then I put everybody who comments on my blog into my GR. I know a lot of people don't do this but I feel like it's a way to return the favor. To keep tabs on what they are posting about.

    I break these out by putting my top 25 commenters into their own folder. Meaning these are the ones who comment on my blog the most. It gives me an idea of loyal readers/commenters & I want to make sure I'm always aware of who they are and what they are posting about.

    And then I put my favs into their own folder. The rest I break out into alpha order. It takes about six to make this manageable.

    Does this help? Yes. Does that mean that I get to read everything? Not always, but I will always skim all post titles before I hit the "all read" button. I never do it without looking first.

  2. I also have different folders. Really I just have a favorites of blogs I want to check every day, no matter what. The rest I just work my way through more slowly. I can remember which letter I left off of on the previous day and I start there.

    Also, I've just learned to accept the fact that there will ALWAYS be unread posts in my GR. It's like the laundry or dishes: as soon as you get it cleaned out, here comes another post you have to read. You might as well just accept it and read the posts you want to with as much time as you're willing to spend and not stress out about it. Life is much easier now that I've gone all philosophic about that. ;)

  3. The worst is that I follow some bloggers on Twitter, so I've already read a lot of posts through their links. I have to open them in my reader anyway so they show up as read. I made a project of that today and got my unread posts down to 555. I'm sure there are others I've read too.

  4. Natasha -- Thank you SO much for telling me how you break down your files. I've thought about it, but then gotten too frustrated by the diverse categories I could break things into, and then just didn't push myself to try! This makes good sense to me, and gives me a great direction to head in. :)

    Tasha --Thanks for the commiseration here! I think you're right that I'll need to think about it in terms of often having things to read sitting in there. I think the way I have it organized right now, doesn't really give me a great opportunity to bounce in and out very well. It will help if I think about the fact that there will always be things there waiting for me!

    Cara--I have to take your example and get to it. My 1,000+ will have to tackled!

  5. I break mine down by category too, similar to Natasha's but I read a lot of crafty and parenting blogs as well. I also have one called "chopping block" that right now has two people in it, both partial feeds. I try to subscribe to everyone who comments on mine, but it's tough.

    Sometimes I find it's easier to let some of the more prolific posters build up to a dozen or more posts and then read them all at once rather than try to keep up. This means that sometimes I'll be leaving comments on old posts, but it's easier for me.

  6. Am getting some good ideas from the other comments, as I feel like I'll never catch up on all of the posts I subscribe to either! So while I unfortunately don't have any helpful hints for you, I'll certainly commiserate! ;)

  7. Thank you so much for posting this! My list in GR is getting bigger and never really played around with RSS.

    I never even thought of doing sub folders in my GR. I'm going to do that now. :)

  8. I use folders too, but even that is starting not to be enough. I've just been feeling SO overwhelmed since BBAW. You know, I think that what we need is not to be so hard on ourselves. It's no big deal if we mark all as read, if we don't return every comment, if we miss a post or two even on a favourite blog. No more guilt!

    (Easier said than done, I know.)

  9. Obviously, I am way behind on my GR since I am replying so late this particular post!! I too do labels in GR; however, I do not break up my book blogs I follow at all. I lump them in and just try to read the most recent posts as I have the time. I figure I will eventually get around to reading them all!! It may be late like this one, but I will read it!! If I am really neglecting some, I will also re-sort so that I get those ones that have been sitting around for a bit too long. As of this very minute, I've made it down to 444. That's fabulous for me since I have not seen it below 900 for quite some time!! :)