How many is too much?

For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to keep up with my RSS feeds. Every time I clear it out, the next morning there will be 35 new posts. Last week I was really strapped for time and I didn’t get to keep up at all, apart for quickly scanning all the cover announcements (if I’ve seen it once, I don’t have to see it in ten other posts), books that really don’t interest me at all (The Lost Gate, I’m looking at you), re-read posts at Tor.com which I’m not following (which means any but the Malazan one) and articles and giveaways that I don’t care to read. If I hadn’t done the pruning thing last week and checked off the few posts I did manage to read, the counter would probably have been at double the amount it is at the moment.

Right now I have 132 unread items in my books folder. These are all items I want to read and in an ideal situation, comment on some, if not most, of them too, if only to let someone know I’ve enjoyed their review. But if I do that, I’ll spend so much time reading my feeds, I won’t have time to read books, let alone keep up my own blog. So I was wondering, am I following too many blogs? At the moment I have about 90 blogs in my reader, some of these update once or twice a week, others update every day and sometimes several times a day. Reviews of books I have on my TBR-pile are saved to a separate folder in my favourites, so I can read them after I’ve written my own review, but that still leaves a lot of posts! And often once I do post a comment, I’ll be so late, that the blogger won’t even notice it or the discussion has already died down and the blogosphere has moved on to other things.

So here’s my question to you. How do you manage your RSS feeds? How many do you follow and how do you keep it manageable and balanced against your own reading and blogging time? Is a big prune of my feeds in order?

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10 Responses to How many is too much?

  1. Weirdmage says:

    I don't do RSS feeds. I follow a lot of blogs via Blogger, and together with Twitter that is usually more than I can get through.

    So I understand your problem. If you have an interest in books, there are a lot of people out there who has lots of interesting things to say. I think reading everything is past the point of humanly impossible.

  2. Mieneke says:

    That's pretty much the same system I think. I know I can import the blogs I follow on Blogger to Google Reader. I guess I need to learn to skim faster huh?

  3. Lawrence says:

    I move the blogs i read up and down the list depending on how i raete the articles/posts, if a blog is consistently at the bottom i normally unsubscribe so i don't have to many feeds to read.

    I had to take this setp like you when it was taking most o my day to go through Google reader!

  4. Val says:

    Hmm, I just clear the list out every day. I follow quite a few blogs and not everything they write is interesting to me. I do a lot of skimming on those articles but I still read a handful in depth every day. Usually that is enough not to let it pile up.

    I also have a bit of a weird memory. Even if I haven't read the article I'll remember I saw something on a particular book or subject on a particular blog. Sometimes I go back to it weeks after it has been posted, usually when I have finished reading the book the article was about.

  5. Ria says:

    I didn't check my feed for 24 hours and came back to find almost 40 new posts waiting. My first thought was, “Geez, how much do you guys have to post in one day!?” Now I don't feel quite so daunted!

    I end up skimming and skipping a lot of the posts too. Books I don't want to read or cover art or any number of things. But they're there if I want to read them, and sometimes I get involved in some really interesting discussions, so I'm not exactly eager to prunce that list and risk missing out on something I would have enjoyed. But if I get too far behind and don't feel like reading hundreds of back entries, I usually just cut my losses, mark them all as read, and start afresh. I may feel a little bad about it (my OCD loves to torment me sometimes), but it's better than feeling too overwhelmed to want to even try to slog through everything!

  6. Harry Markov says:

    24 hours and I have a 100 unread posts… I think I may need to trim mine down… Just a tiny bit.

  7. Brenda says:

    I too have found that I spend way too much time reading blogs when I do it through my reader. So I decided to stop using the reader and just go through the links on my sidebar. That way when I have some extra time, I just click on the blog links and read through the posts I've missed. It seems to go faster.

  8. Mieneke says:

    @ Lawrence: That sounds like a good system actually! I may have to try it :)

    @Val: I tend to do that as well and then I'll spend half an hour trying to find the blasted post lol

    @Ria: You sound way too much like me! I hate doing a mark-all-as-read because I might miss something lol

    @Harry: Ahum… If we don't hear from you again in 48 hours I'll send a search party :P

    @Brenda: That's also an interesting way to do it.

    @all: thanks for all the responses! You guys have given me lots of things to try and keep the backlog down!

  9. I have a few feeds set up, twitter, etc. I only check them when I have time, and I don't let myself worry about any of it.

    my google reader probably gets 50+ new items every day. I'll quickly scan the list, and ONLY check on things that catch my eye, maybe 10 or 20 items. Everything else gets cleared out. same with twitter, i scan it for things that catch my eye.

  10. Mieneke says:

    @littleredreviewer: You are stronger than I am! If I know there's something I 'need' to read, I have a hard time just letting it sit there until I can get to it. I'm just wired that way I guess :)

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