I subscribe to over 150 blogs and until a few months ago I had them categorized by subject and context. I had a 'work' set, a 'play' set, a 'tech' set etc. With so many feeds and such a crude organization it often meant I would get overwhelmed with input and eventually click 'Mark All As Read' every few days. Although this removes the glut, it also removes items I would have liked to have read if I could have found them.
Back in 2007 Jason Kottke and Matt Wood had posts describing their own feed reading organization and I've since adopted something similar and it has made all the difference. The idea is to organize feeds by how you read them instead of the subject of the blog. Here is my current set of folders:
- MustRead - Friends, family and blogs where I never want to miss a post. Around 5 - 30 posts a day. I check for unread items multiple times a day.
- DangGood - Blogs I love to read but if I fall behind a few days it is no big deal. Around 20 - 100 posts a day. I check for unread items around once a day.
- RiffRaff - Blogs I like but if I never read them that is ok. This set includes high-volume blogs and there are currently thousands of unread items in this folder. I typically end up reading this group in desperate moments of boredom or long plane trips (yay for Google Reader offline mode).
- Perhaps - Only a handful of blogs in this folder. A staging area where the blog is new and I'm not sure where it should be categorized yet. I could likely merge OnTheFence and Perhaps, but the separation is somewhat useful.
- OnTheFence - Only a handful of blogs in this folder. Blogs that I'm considering removing get moved here. If my interest doesn't increase, they get removed.
Since adopting this posting structure my feed reading efficiency has increased drastically. No more is the feeling that I am missing posts that are hidden in the pile. It allows me to keep on top of the people I really like to read, and it means I always have ample reading material for down-time and plane trips.