the RSS a-list

Marco Arment, in defense of good RSS habits:

RSS is a great tool that’s very easy to misuse. And if you’re subscribing to any feeds that post more than about 10 items per day, you’re probably misusing it. I don’t mean that you’re using it in a way it wasn’t intended — rather, you’re using it in a way that’s not good for you.

I’m pretty much on board with most of what he recommends. RSS is still a vital technology for me, and while I know only a few people who use an RSS reader, they’re my smartest, bestest friends.

I used to shuffle and sort my feeds in a carefully designed system, and only treat the “a-list” stuff like what Marco’s describing above. Then, if it offended me once, down to b-list, then maybe c-list, then gone. I unsubscribed to stuff that I wasn’t enjoying reading. Feeling obligated to either read or skip everything was overwhelming, though, and I used the system above to kind of manage the overflow.

My “a-list” is only a few things, but I made a bundle for you.

You have to decide for yourself whether you’re using RSS to see new stuff, or so that you don’t miss great stuff. “New” seemed like a fire hose to me, so I mostly avoided it.

I learned, eventually, that you can ignore things. Google Reader doesn’t mind. 1,000+ items will sit there, and you’re not costing anyone anything. Google’s “magic sort” works really well to find you the occasional item that you really should see it.

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