As sloppy as my apartment can get (and believe me, it can get quite sloppy — though it’s usually just “extremely cluttered” as opposed to “disgustingly messy”, a small but important difference), I tend to be extremely organized in many other areas of my life. My occasional rants about metadata and .mp3 tags have probably clued a few people in to this aspect of my personality. I also tend to keep my movies, books, and music alphabetized, files on my computers all in their appropriate places, and so on. Heck, part of my drive to ensure that my web pages validate as clean, standards-compliant code stems from this innate desire for simple categorization and the ability to find things quickly.
To that end, since I started using NetNewsWire to keep up with the various weblogs and news sites that I like to read, I’ve used its grouping function to assign each RSS feed to a specific category — technology, macintosh, personal, and so on.
About a month ago, Rand was asking about RSS reading habits, and after a bit of thought prompted by his post, I’ve been wondering for a bit if this categorization is really the best approach for me to take. As my list of subscribed feeds grows (currently hovering right around 100 or so, give or take a few I’m reading on a trial basis — nowhere near Scoble’s 600+, but still fairly respectable), I’m finding it harder and harder to get through all my feeds on a regular basis. I’ve been doing very well at keeping up with sites that were in the groups at the top of the list (usually Personal and Macintosh), but not so well with groups towards the bottom (usually Links and Political). If I get bored, hungry, or distracted during my reading, the ones at the bottom get fairly regularly neglected.
So, starting tonight, I’m going to try to vary my reading habits a bit to see what that does. I’ve deleted all the groups I was using before, and instead have all the feeds listed in more-or-less alphabetical order, top to bottom in a single group, ordered by date posted. While the amount of information doesn’t really change, the presentation is different enough that it might make a difference in what I find on any given day. I know I’ve missed a few breaking stories over the past few weeks, especially in the political arena, simply because I wasn’t getting far enough through my reading to see them until they’d already been blogged to death by everyone else on the ‘net.
I’m hoping that this little adjustment will be enough to help me keep up with everything a little bit better. No way to know until I try, of course.
iTunes: “She Cries Your Name” by Orton, Beth from the album Who Will Be Big In ’98? (1997, 4:47).