How do you keep up?

[Eric](http://www.9to5andotherwise.com) both enjoy our feed readers. He uses [NetNewsWire](http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/) on his iBook, I tend to use [FeedDemon](http://feeddemon.com/feeddemon/) on my PC. Another difference is the urgency we attach to keeping up with our feeds. I have a lot of feeds. 652 at last count. But truth is I don’t think I spend any more time reading feeds than the person who has 50. Many are “dinosaurs”….old dead feeds that never update and I haven’t bothered taking the time to remove them from the list. FeedDemon does have a way to find them, but it’s slow going so I do a few at a time.

Anyway, Eric has that dock icon in NNW that tells him how many unread articles he has. As a result, he feels unfinished when that number gets out of hand. “I have 365 unread articles! Have to catch up!” Me, I love that FD doesn’t tell me the total. [NewsGator Online](http://www.newsgator.com) does, but I have to go searching to see that I have 3605 unread articles. Here’s the thing…I don’t feel any pressure to “catch up” and read/skim each one. I read what I can read when I can read, and the rest just fade away. If it’s important enough, it’ll be talked about on multiple blogs and I’ll catch it. I only get close to catching up on Sunday evenings…then I fall way back on Monday morning and the cycle repeats.

I was chatting about this very thing with a friend, and he said something that is so right-on I asked permission to repeat as long as I didn’t mention his name:

>I turned off the alerts a long time ago. RSS is so different from email. I don’t need to know each time I get an update. There’s *always* updates. It’s like someone telling me “the sun is up” every 15 minutes. The only time that’s news is at night!

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2 thoughts on “How do you keep up?

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I also use NetNewsWire, although I don’t leave it running. I check it once in the morning, and occasionally in the evening as well, but otherwise leave it alone. One of my favorite features is the ability to create “Smart Lists.” I have a folder of possibly time-sensitive feeds and don’t worry about the others until I have a little extra time.

  2. Hey Judi – I agree – there is just too much to keep track of, and most people are just too busy to try and keep the ‘unread items’ down near 0.

    I am actually working on that problem (it was bugging me) in the form of something my partner and I call ‘Touchstone’.

    The idea is that there should be a way to get information from your feeds while your being productive (i.e. doing other things).

    If I may give it a plug it’s at http://www.touchstonegadget.com – I’d love to hear what you think!

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