Digging Myself Out of the Hole Called RSS

I’ve always been a heavy reader, online and offline but this weekend I finally noticed the hole I dug myself into. I was taking in more information that I could get through and I was falling behind. I resolved then to start taking action to dig myself back out by following 3 simple steps:

1. Stop digging

The first step to getting out of a ditch is to stop digging. In my case I’ve made it part of my weekly review to drop 5% of my feeds every week. Sorry guys, it’s not you it’s me. I track enough blogs that I’ll hear about industry changing news eventully.

2. Fill in the hole

Now the hole isn’t getting any deeper but there still is a massive hole. What’s the best way to fill up a hole? Add the dirt you took out of it.

In my case I’m implementing the 2 minute rule for my reading items. Each item gets 2 minutes to decide it’s fate:

  1. Not Valuable: Delete.
  2. Valuable but not right now: tag it in del.icio.us based on the main content.
  3. Valuable right now: Read it.
3. Don’t get buried again

So now I’ve stopped digging but new things are still coming in. I’m going to adopt another 2 minute rule for each new item:

  1. Not Valuable: mark as read.
  2. Valuable but not right now: tag it in del.icio.us based on the main content.
  3. Valuable right now but will take longer than 2 minutes to read: Tag as @check for later.
  4. Valuable right now: Read it.

So far it’s working great. I’ve cut my subscriptions, checking the new items faster, and taking time everyday to go though my del.icio.us page of items (470 items dating back to March of 2007!).

What steps do you use to keep yourself out of the information hole?



  1. Christopher Humphries says:

    I just cut back on the number of RSS feeds, mainly the news ones, especially ones that duplicate news.

    Fortunately, most blogs are not consistent in updating.

    I also keep my RSS feed reader (NetNewsWire) off till I have slacking time. Just having the program not active all the time helps keep it not a distraction.

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