Blogs are the best way to learn and stay updated in today’s web space. There is simply no better, free way to connect with people, read the news, learn new skills, and increase your working knowledge of anything.
Which is why I am cutting my feeds by 74% going from 30 feeds to 8, with the intent of further reducing the count in the next month.
Why? If blogs are so great, and the information so available, why delete? Because I was drowning in a sea of information, taking everything in by giant gulps. I’m going on an Information Diet, focusing on the blogs that continue to offer great value on a consistent basis, and are targeted to my needs.
The biggest reason is this…
Too Much Reading is a Form of Stalling
I love to read and consume information. However, I fall in to the trap of browsing endlessly through hundreds of feed items, which keeps me from doing any real work. The lizard brain uses this as a stall tactic, and I’m fighting back.
5 Steps to Conscious RSS Consumption
Name the High-Value Blogs: Recognize the blogs which routinely provide you with high value content. If you have not been informed, educated, or inspired in the last month by a blog, cut it out. Ideally, there is a post each week that you gain value from, and can apply in your own life.
Forget Your Friends: I know a few bloggers, or more likely family or friends that have sites. I have removed them from my reader, not because I don’t enjoy reading them (I do), but because when I am reading feeds, I have a specific purpose. And keeping other people happy is not the purpose. I will visit them monthly, and use Pocket to grab the posts I like. But I don’t need the clutter in my reader.
Focus on Your Knowledge Base (or lack of): What are the issues you want to be informed or educated about? For me, they are as follows:
- Entrepreneurship & Business
- Outdoor Adventure
Pick 1-2 in Each Focus: My topical focus has remained the same for the past 2 years, however the glut of information I was attempting to consume was too much. So now I only read 1-2 blogs in each focus, consistently keeping my feed items at a reasonable level. Too many in the queue only means I will ignore them in shame until I have 1000 unread items.
Review Monthly: Take heart, what you have on the list now may not stay there forever. Each month I will do a blog audit, and be honest with the vale provided by the site. I’ll probably keep an archive sheet stored in Google Docs, and treat it like the Champions League! Bottom 2 blogs out, top 2 archives back in! If you miss a post with incredible value, there’s a good chance you’ll see it on Twitter or Facebook, or you may not. Life will go on, especially since you’ll be creating so much of your own content now!
8 Blogs That Made The Cut
Zen Habits – A part of my lifestyle and writing focus, Leo continually provides great articles about varying topics, including creativity, simplicity, productivity, and fitness.
Seth Godin – A part of my Entrepreneurship & Business focus, Seth breaks all the “rules”, but is able to do so because of his consistency, value, and generous spirit. He writes a post every day, it’s generally short (100-200 words), he still uses Typepad, and doesn’t use images. All of which I have been told are terrible ideas! But consistency, value, and generosity are, so Seth wins.
Goins, Writer – Jeff is one of the best writers and bloggers I know, and gives great, useful, and actionable advice on his site. He writes about, well, writing, along with creativity, growth, and fear.
Cold Splinters – Jeff writes about the outdoor lifestyle and industry, in a very unique way. CS is, in my opinion, the most design-minded outdoor blog on the internet. He writes wonderfully, and keeps me updated on important topics concerning the outdoors.
TentBlogger – John’s stated mission on TentBlogger is to create an income for himself apart from the ministry and service projects he has. Although he would cringe at this, John is the model for what I hope to do with my blogging career. TentBlogger is tremendously helpful across a wide range of creative, business, and inspirational pursuits.
The Art of Non-Conformity – I had been reading Chris regularly before the $100 Startup came out, and it’s because he offers clear, actionable writing about micro-business, lifestyle design, blogging, and travel. He excels at providing a mix of inspiration and practicality.
Richard Rohr – Father Rohr is a Franciscan priest who has really helped me see the teachings of Jesus in a different light. Far from the judgmental, rules-based message I feel Christianity is “known for”, Rohr shows Jesus’ message of love, sacrifice, service, and mercy.
37Signals – Jason and David’s project management software company really is a great model for innovation, management, and customer service. The topics they write about are not always applicable to me, but there are so many gems in their work that I simply have to stay on top of the feed. For better insight on how they built and manage 37Signals, check out their book Re/Work, and David’s talk at Stanford.
What sites do you read on a regular basis, and find tremendous value in?
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