Friday, June 27, 2008

RSS Reading

As Wil Wheaton often says at the top of his poker-related blog posts...

WARNING: RSS Reading style post ahead. Skip if this kind of thing bores you.

My RSS feeds are organized in a few different ways.

Primarily I rank them by Importance To Me, ie. how much do I care about the feed relative to how much I care about missing posts here and there.

These levels are:

A - "best"
B - "daily"
C - "good"
D - "zaggregate"

I would rename them A, B, C and D, except you can't rename folders in Google Reader at this moment. Blech.

"zaggregrate" was named as such because at one point Google Reader wouldn't let you organize your folders manually - they were auto-sorted alphabetically.

Blogs appear in one and only one of these "importance" categories (even tho GR allows you to use these categories/folders as tags, ie one-to-many).

Four may be too many at this point, but the last two are really just "Archives" for me. I rarely like to say goodbye entirely to any feed (although I do when I need to). Google Reader allows you to easily "collapse" the list of feeds in a given folder, so I generally never actually open the folder for "zaggregate" - it's just a source of feeds that occasionally percolate into my River of News reading style.

Google Reader allows you to view any group of feeds (ie, "folder") by Order Posted or by "Auto," which supposedly lets less frequently updated blogs float to the top. All my "importance" groups I view by Order Posted. I often read my feeds by going directly to "best," and sometimes directly to "daily." I rarely select "good" or "zaggregate" as a group, but rather let the contents of those posts just appear interspersed with the rest of my blogs as I browse through "All Items," which I always view sorted by "Auto."

I used to have all my blogs tagged my topic, but have found that many topics ("food," "books/movies," etc) are not the way my mind works. I still have "apple" (which is my default, and usually the first thing I work my way through quickly), "games" (videogames, which is sometimes a topic I'm in the mood to read through), and "politics," (which I have as a distinct topic mostly so I can easily mark "ALL" my politics feeds as read sometimes, when I'm sick of politics and want to clear it out).

The final feed I have is "rare" - this is for feeds that update rarely, of course, and for ones that I really really don't want to miss. Friends' baby or personal sites, infrequent long-form writers, Official Google notices (which come every 3 months or something), etc.

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