Download Squad has a post with strategies to clean up one’s feed list.
From the comments:
I also have a problem with the feed thing. I find myself chronically adding feeds to Google Reader and not spending enough time editing my feed list.
I wish I could understand why editing the list is so important. So what if there are unread articles? Do you feel bad if you don’t read every paragraph in your favorite newspaper or magazine? RSS feeds aren’t email. I read every non-spam email in my inbox (or at least give it very serious consideration). I feel no such compunction to read every sentence that comes through via RSS, and I resist any feed reading application that counts my unread articles. I don’t want to know. I don’t care. To me, it’s a buffet that has all my favorite foods. Some days I’m hungry and I eat everything in sight. Some days I’m only in the mood for one or two dishes. What I don’t “eat” is refreshed and served again tomorrow.
I have about 20 or so feeds that are in a “must read” folder. When I’m a feed-reading mood, I start there. After that folder is empty, I hit other folders depending on where my head is at. I am careful to categorize feeds accurately when I subscribe to them, so all my feeds on certain topics are sorted together. If what the feed has to say is important enough, other sites will talk about it (and usually those sites are in my “must read” folder) so I’ll go back to it.
I recently switched from Newsgator to Google Reader. I couldn’t get a rhythm going with NetNewsWire, and it was a bit of a pain to fire up FeedDemon in Parallels. I wanted a feed reader that worked comfortable in a browser and on my phone. Newsgator Online is painfully slow on a good day. On my phone, I don’t want to use a stand alone application. With 700+ feeds to skim, it takes too much overhead. I want the speed and ease of a mobile browser interface, while retaining the ability to star/clip articles. Google Reader fits that bill. I looked at going back to Bloglines, and I was amazed at how little it changed in the years since I last used it. Seems like Google Reader is where it’s at now, so I’m giving it a go. I appreciate the trends view which tells me which feeds have “died” so I can remove them (usually the only way I unsubscribe from a feed)…this is something that the desktop applications, particularly NetNewsWire, do very well.
Best of all, Google Reader stops counting at 100, simply reporting (100+) unread articles in any folder or feed. Google wisely understands that folks may have 15,000+ unread articles and after the first few thousand or so, it probably doesn’t matter.