We have mentioned a couple of times that we tend to have enormous feed subscriptions, despite our best efforts to keep the numbers manageable. Artem raised the question about how we manage these but no answers were forthcoming so I thought I would revive the topic here.
First my tool of choice
By now someone must have built the ultimate feed reading tool to beat all others?
I have been on a constant lookout for a great feed reader ever since I discovered RSS. Bloglines, sorry to the fans, just doesn’t do it for me. I use a web interface as a backup, not as my primary reading method.
Newsgator was ok but I found a better Outlook RSS plugin with Attensa. With Attensa I can sync with their web based service, this means my primary mode of RSS reading is available in addition to a roaming web interface, perfect. Well, almost. I had to spend a LOT of time with their very helpful staff to work out why it had nuked my Outlook install. All resolved now, happily.
How I manage my feeds
The one thing Attensa does not have that others I tried, such as Blogbridge and even Attensa’s own web based service, is the “river of news” view. If they added this to the Outlook tool I would be very happy in deed.
The way I work is to store my feeds in folders by “project” rather than topic. So feeds I read to find out the news that is relevant to Performancing go into a Performancing folder, good photography blogs go into my DSLRBlog folder, the best .NET blogs go into the folder for my techy blog etc.
I still have “second tier” folders for all the rest of the blogging news, but by shifting feeds into very paired down collections I am only looking at the good stuff, the ones I can really rely on. This saves me time as I am not wading through irrelevant stuff that might be fun but isn’t immediately useful.
An important folder contains all the non-blog feeds I keep up with, our BaseCamp projects, my Tadalists, etc. This is the main advantage of my feeds being in Outlook. I have outlook open all the time so if something new pops up I know right away.
Once I have got the important feeds out of the way and posted some (obviously brilliant and insightful) blog posts I can read the rest to keep abreast of news and catch up with what Dilbert is up to today and what is going to happen next on Battlestar Galactica.
If while looking through the other feeds I find a feed that looks like it will be useful I will move it. Looking through the feeds at this time also helps me find new blogs. I follow all the linked sources and have a look to see if I want to subscribe. Feeds I haven’t found useful for a couple of weeks get nuked. It’s like feed Darwinism, only the best survive.
What software do you use and how do you manage your feeds? How many feeds do you subscribe to?