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Julien Couvreur's programming blog and more

RSS-free day of the week


I've had lots of trouble balancing my time online lately, between blog reading, publishing and code writing. Although I don't use the bloglines update notifier, I leave bloglines opened in a tab and check it regularly. Unlike Steve Gillmor, who also is a confessed RSS addict, I can't bear leaving items un-read for as long as a day.

But as my subscriptions continue to grow, I spend less time hacking and publishing. Its feels like being an information junky, in need of a quick fix. And like channel hopping on TV or junk food, it leaves an after-taste of dissatisfaction.
The quick context switching between all these little posts have a negative effect on my attention lifespan and I have to queue denser and longer essays for later reading.

Maybe grouping posts by topic using some smart categorizer based on content and link structure would help prioritize posts. This would help to limit the fragmentation, replication and dilution of information, by grouping the "title+comment+link" posts that are alike together.
Another solution is to prioritize feeds themselves using some tivo-like thumbs-up button in aggregators. I've been wishing for this a long time, as it would help identify the feeds that don't have high enough signal/noise ratios for me, push them to the bottom of my subscription list and eventually trim them off.

But I'm thinking of a more radical solution, like having a personal RSS-free day in the week. I haven't tried it yet, and it would sure help if bloglines had a feature to enforce it ("sorry, no feeds for you today, come back tomorrow"), but I think it would make feeds more manageable for me, by artificially inserting a break and let all these ideas sort themselves and decant.

RSS: A Big Success In Danger of Failure.
Falling out of love with RSS.

(Cat overdose).


hi there...i found your post on an RSS feed, oddly enough, and thought you might like to check out Jyte, which aims to please with technology that will (over time) learn your preferences. even better; you can create searches for news and, in 2 weeks, for all your RSS feeds, so that you'll only see the posts from your feeds that you care about.

it's in beta right now but I'd love to see you try it out and let us know what you think.

Posted by: gisarah (March 3, 2004 12:46 AM) ______________________________________

Neither your comment, nor the website has any description of the filtering Jyte does... more details?...
Also, right now I am very attached to bloglines, as I can use it from work and home.

Posted by: Dumky (March 3, 2004 09:27 AM) ______________________________________

Wow. you just described how I feel right this very moment. I should have been working for the last hour but I just got sucked into bloglines... I found your site off a link from another site I was browsing which I found off another site... I agree, the feeling of being an 'information junkie' is very unpleasant. It's just so hard to click that "mark all read" link, the fear that I might miss something, and going for a day without just makes the next day worse. Interesting post.

Posted by: Marcus (March 3, 2004 05:40 PM)
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