RSS-feeds part 2 - strategy

Post date 2008-07-22
Category Writings

Who would've thought that an online service helping me track information would become a statement about my life?

Some months ago I complained that oy, my RSS-feeds are getting cluttered. They simply didn't get me the information I wanted, and reading my reader became a chore. The solution? Organization!

But no fortune lasts forever. The new system helped a bit, but after using it a new problem became painfully obvious: I'm subscribed to a lot of websites that feed me crap. Maybe there was this one or two posts I liked that made me subscribe to the site, or maybe I just subscribed to it because it seemed "hot" - many people commented or it looked nice. Or maybe I just don't need the information the website publishes anymore.

Simply put, it was time for a spring cleaning. Before, I was tracking 76 websites, neatly divided into categories. Afterwards I was down 56 sites and fewer categories.

Lets learn from it, shall we? I was able to divide the websites I deleted into a few categories:

Websites of poor quality
Websites of poor quality where the worst. They either rambled on about things I don't care about - generally day to day talk - or deteriorated to the point where they became a business and stopped being a site that cared about people. Skelliewag and Freelanceswitch are just repeating themselves over and over, and it feels like they've become vehicles to earn money.

Websites I don't need
Some sites were just a bad pick when I subscribed to them from the start. The Serif, for example, is a great site if you like to follow non-innovative trends in graphic design. I'm more into creative things - things that pop for people other than designers - so out it went. I didn't feel like keeping up with the current trends in typography either, so no more Typographica or iLoveTypography despite being really good sites.

Some inspirational sites no longer inspires me. The photography blog Shutter and Pupil bores me now that I've evolved as a photographer.

Overflowing sites
Some sites posted so often that they flooded my feed reader and took attention away from more important information. and Ads of the World are two examples. I like them as a resource - but I hardly need to see everything they document.

To summarize, the sites I've kept are those that focus on delivering value, not just content. I kept sites that gave me quality. Sites that appealed to me and my views of the world.

Really, when you think about it, who would've thought that an online service helping me track information would become anything but a statement about my life?