The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 23 June 2005]

RIFing feeds

They say you have to bottom out before you can really face your addiction, and that’s what’s been happening for the last few months.

So, yes, Hello, group, my name is Nic and I’m an RSS junkie.

With a list hovering around 500 feeds or so for a long time, it’s gotten to the point where hitting Refresh All in NetNewsWire felt more like doing homework than having fun, so it was time for some serious pruning.

First thing to go: Partial feeds. Unless there’s consistently really good content to be expected at the site, reading things like:

Many big announcements were made today about many things...

feeling compelled to click through to the site for the rest of the article isn’t bloody likely to happen. If it’s important, somebody with a full feed will have picked it up, and I’ll read it there, thank-you-very-much.

Second thing to go: General news feeds. I read the newspaper every day, so if something considered generally news worthy is going on, my friends in the tree-killing business probably already let me know in the morning. And if the news didn’t make it before they went to print, there’ll be another massacre of trees tomorrow. I can wait.

Third thing to go: Link blogs without fresh links. If it’s already on BoingBoing, Slashdot, Engadget or Gizmodo, only blog it if you can add some kind of value. Otherwise it’s by definition redundant.

That said, what kind of feeds survived the threshing and made it into the hallowed halls of CoreDump Idols?

First: A fresh perspective. Feeds that add new angles to stories that are happening, be it fact-checking the media or informed commentary in a specialized sphere, it’s well worth spending time on.

Second: A compelling voice. No matter what kind of goof ball you are, if you can be that goof ball in an interesting way, I’ll keep reading.

Third: General ranting and raving about things that happen to be of interest to me. There are people out there whom I’ve never met, and most likely never will, but for some reason they are interested in the same kinds of things I am. So it’s sort of like a cocktail party full of people I find interesting, except I don’t have to get my lazy ass out of my chair—score!

Ah, feels good to be on a low-fat RSS diet…

Soundtrack: “Bearsuit” by Tindersticks itunes

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