Damn you, Indecision!

“Too Much” in RSS feeds?

Earlier today I got linked to an article on louisgray.com talking about how Engadget posts too many updates, causing people to unsubscribe to their feed.  This article was spurred by Ryan Block’s post on his personal blog asking, “Is Engadget’s daily wall-to-wall coverage too much of a good thing?”  Perhaps I’m just too much of a gadget junkie, but I don’t understand the question. *smirk*

Seriously, though, I guess the question can be asked of several blogs/RSS feeds that update too often.  However, with the “river of news” method of reading RSS feeds in Google Reader and other aggregators, how difficult is it to just scroll on by?  I do admit that I do not scour hundreds of feeds in order to stay on the bleeding edge of all things tech or whatever for my blog, so maybe my POV is not one that applies to this question.  But when someone commented on Ryan Block’s blog post and said it takes him a half-hour to plow through 60 stories, I was truly puzzled.  Does it take you that long to scan the headline and realize you’re not interested in the article?  Perhaps my uber-skimming causes me to overlook some articles I’d otherwise be interested in and would perhaps blog about or share in my Google Reader shared links, but often if a story is interesting enough, I’ll see it pop up in other RSS feeds and I’ll eventually read it.  Again, I’m not a professional blogger, so YMMV.

I do admit to checking Engadget and my other favorite feeds several times a day, so I guess that’s another way to break down the reading into more manageable chunks.  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think 60 posts a day is overly much for a gadget blog that has high traffic and a sizeable editorial staff.  I guess I also have a rather focused set of categories of gadget tech that I’m interested in, so if Engadget goes on a tear and reports about all these LCD TVs or monitors that were announced in a day, I’ll probably scroll past all of those entries.  A lot of the silly USB toy posts will get quickly skimmed over.  Though I’m interested in new cell phones, probably 80% – 90% of the stories posted about a new, thin cell phone with generic specs will get skipped over.  River of news is a lot more efficient than clicking on each article headline to preview the article text, e-mailbox-style.  Maybe that’s why that guy was taking so long to view a mere 60 articles. *shrug*  Maybe you need to have a short attention span in order to get through prolific feeds??

Oh well.  It depends on your level of attention, and need for the information that these various feeds are pushing out.  I’d have to say, though, that if you’re a gadget blogger and don’t read feeds like Engadget, you’d miss a lot of stuff.  I’d recommend reading your feeds in a river-of-news style so it’s easier to get through them.  I guess if any one feed is too prolific, just unsubscribe.  It’s okay.  Really! 🙂

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One response

  1. If it takes 1/2 hour to scroll through 60 stories, you’re either a very slow reader, very distracted, or who knows what? But if it does take that long, then RSS isn’t for you. Scoble, built for RSS, reads up on about 1000 articles a day. I’m comfortable fitting in 500 or so a day, and that’s with reading in the morning and evening, before I go to bed, and sneaking feeds in between meetings at the office. But it can at times get overwhelming. RSS is a great tool, but the readers (Google Reader included) need to do some work on finding out ways to remove duplicates, etc. That topic is already covered up and down on my site. Thanks for the note.

    April 29, 2007 at 2:29 pm

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