Controlling RSS Overload...Animal House Style

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at October 13, 2005 10:45 PM

Did you know that RSS is a disease? If you've ever had RSS overload-itis, you know what I'm talking about.

Blogging is a bit like (as I've mentioned before) ostrich farming...and ostrich farmers like to promote the eating of more ostrich...leading us to often say "you should read this new blog," "this blog is a must read," "blog, w00t w00t blog," etc.

If you followed all of the "must read" advice you received, soon you'd be overwhelmed with hundreds and hundreds of blogs in your aggregator, reminding me of my grandmother and owls (she collected owls...plates, pictures, figurines, etc...she must have ened up with thousands and thousands). While it makes for an interesting conversation piece, "who" has time for it?

One of the first visible symptoms of RSS overload-itis is an urge to delete blog posts en masse just to clear them. Been there, done that.

However, I've found a solution Dean Wormer would be proud of. Probation, double secret probation.

Most aggregators allow you to create "groups" for your blogs. I have groups for "blawgs," "bored," "technology," etc. (see a picture below). The most important group of all is called "Probation." Into the Probation group goes every new blog I add to my aggregator. EVERY one. Consider it a quarantine tank for your RSS aquarium. Once a month, go through your Probation group and cull the herd, promoting some to the big leagues, while giving others the boot.

Shoot...when a blog starts getting lame, I demote it to the Probation group, a first step on the way out of my aggregator. yourself a favor and put new blogs on probation.


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I'm there, I think. Too easy to import them or add them directly. Here's a suggestion I may try for culling the herd.

Trackbacked from Too Many RSS Feeds on We Interrupt This Broadcast.

From Stephen M. Nipper at rethink(ip) comes a nice helpful tip for dealing with RSS overload. Most aggregators allow you to create "groups" for your blogs. I have groups for "blawgs," "bored," "technology," etc. (see a picture below). The most...

Trackbacked from Put RSS Feeds on Probation on Lifehacker.

If you feel all those RSS feeds overwhelm you, you should try this method suggested by Stephen Nipper at rethink(ip). Stephen said whenever you have new RSS feed lands onto your news aggregator, you should put all of them to a folder called “Pro...

Trackbacked from Organizing RSS Overload on

A while ago I blogged on how I use a "probation folder" in my RSS aggregator to control RSS overload. I still use the works great for me. That post was actually picked up by a number of

Trackbacked from Parole for blogs in my probation folder on The Invent Blog :: Stephen M. Nipper's Patent Blog.

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Matthew Goeden Says:

October 14, 2005 09:26 AM

Very true, mass deletion of posts is a dispositve sympton of the disease.

btw -- this post moved rethink(ip) from my "Bored" box to my "Blogs" box.

Bender Says:

October 15, 2005 04:10 AM

Too many nano pictures?

That's whack hack. RSS feeds are out of control, but none come close to the amount of The Nano pictures that are poping up all over the internet.

It's crazy

Joshua K Says:

November 6, 2005 02:49 AM

Wow, this is like the best tip for someone who's gotten frustrated with trying to keep up with RSS feeds. I'd actually been putting it off because I didn't know how to keep it clean and useful.


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