As a blog reader you probably know the “problem” of the daily information flood from the blogosphere. If you have subscribed dozens of feeds you usually get dozens of new posts a day. In this post I will show you how I deal with that “problem”.
My strategy consists of two elements: scanning phases and reading phases.
The goal of a scanning phase is to bring down the “new posts” counter to zero. During such a phase, which takes around 5 minutes, I open each feed that contains new posts (in Bloglines that action resets the “new posts” counter for that feed). There are three options of what I can do with every post:
- ignore it
- read it
- save it
If there are keywords in the title I am not interested in I ignore the post. There are probably other factors involved in this decision, but I am not really aware of them as the decision is made very fast. If a post overcomes this check, I look for the length of the post. If a post is short (that means I can read it in about 20 seconds), I read the post, otherwise I “save” it with checking the “mark as new” checkbox in Bloglines. That increases the “marked as new” counter, but has no effect on the “new posts” counter. If I have done this process for each new post of the feed, I move on to the next feed.
My day usually starts with such a scanning phase to see what interesting posts await me later. During the day I do a scanning phase before each reading phase.
The goal of a reading phase is to decrease the “marked as new” counter. It is obvious what happens in such a phase: reading the posts marked during the scanning phases. The number of posts I read during such a phase depends on the length of the posts and the time available (a side note: as it is not possible to estimate the reading time for posts of short feeds I usually do not subscribe to such feeds).
I switch to reading phases when my productivity is very low, e.g. after lunch. So my day usually contains three such phases.
Ok, that’s it. I hope I could give you some inputs for your own Getting Things Read approach.