Trimming the Fat: Reading Fewer Blogs

April 2008

Three weeks in to my experiment in measuring my Google Reader stats, I have come to the conclusion that there is too much chaff and not enough wheat. This was mainly fueled by two observations:

  • The average time devoted to a post lately has dipped under 6 seconds. As an average, this seems a little too low.

  • I recently found an interesting article on the NY Times that I realized had been in my reader and yet I blew right past it. This is partially due to the fact that the Times only includes a one sentence summary in their feeds in an effort to get you to click through to the site. Still, I would have been more likely to click through if there were fewer items in the inbox.

I’m taking the following two actions:

  • I’ve cut out a couple of high volume feeds (they shall remain nameless).

  • I’ve been more specific with the feeds where I can be. For example, I unsubscribed to the NY Times Opinion feed and replaced it with the specific columnists (David Brooks) and blogs (TierneyLab, Olivia Judson, By Design) that I find myself reading/sharing most often. The author of post is a very useful filter - it’s a lot harder to decide whether to read a post or not based solely on the title.