Decategorization29 Dec 2006
A while ago I figured out that the websites I follow via RSS feeds fall into 3 categories:
- Sites I want to read as quickly as possible when there is something new
- Sites where I don't want to miss anything, but without any time pressure
- Sites where I want to see what's current, but don't mind missing old news
In other words, for some sites I want to keep archives, but for others not. I couldn't figure out how to configure my RSS readers to do that, be it Net News Wire or Bloglines... until a couple days ago I figured it out for Google Reader. The key is that Google Reader allows you to assign feeds to multiple folders (or, to use their terminology, assign several default tags to single feeds). It is also quite easy to change folders for a couple of hundred feeds.
Instead of 50 different folders based on theme and geography, I now have 4 main folders based on priority: readfirst, readsecond, readthird, and no-archive. readfirst are the top priority feeds I read right away... sites like Daring Fireball, lumma.de, vowe dot net, and Overheard in New York. readsecond and readthird tend to be personal weblogs, tech and german weblogs in readsecond, us political weblogs in readthird. no-archive are news sites and prolific personal sites... I try to scan all headlines, but have no qualms about hitting 'mark all as read' for the folder.
I still have 2 or 3 themed folders for groups I want to follow (fellow expats, co-workers, old EditThisPage bloggers), but they're all in readsecond as well. So I can read them either as a group or together with the rest of the feeds. My own feeds (which I read only for testing purposes) also have their own category.
My impression after a couple of days is that I'm reading more efficiently now, although perhaps the week between Christmas and New Year is not a good test.