Feed Bankruptcy

Just as other people have publicly declared “email bankruptcy”, I think I’m declaring RSS/Atom feed bankruptcy. I’ve worked very hard the last two weeks; often, I’ve been at the office from 10 AM to midnight or even 2 AM. My time at home was often limited to sleeping, showering, dressing and undressing, and brushing teeth.

I have tried, but I simply cannot keep up with all the feeds I have subscribed to. So after I have caught up with some other things, maintenance in my apartment, for example, I will probably have to sort through the feeds I subscribe to and delete some of them.

I wish there was some kind of two-layer system: Feeds I definitely want to see, and feeds that I might look at if I have time. Does anyone have such a system figured out? I guess I could put the important feeds into Google Reader and the less important feeds into Firefox’s Sage extension.

Anyway, pictures speak a thousand words:

Here are the items read, which really only means clicked on, per day during the last month. The declining trend is very apparent. There are days when I try to catch up, like today or two days ago, but I pretty much fail.

Items read over the last 30 days.

I think the graph of items read by day of week show that I read pretty guilt-free: Mostly on the weekends and not on or before the days we usually have group meetings.

Items read by day of the week.

The graph of items read by time of day shows that I read mostly in the morning, when I get up, and at night, before I go to sleep.

Items read by time of day.

These are the top 10 feeds I read (=click on). Most of them are about “hacking” your life: Small, smart improvements to do things better. “DZone: java” on the other hand is a Java blog and very relevant to my work. I also follow Lambda the Ultimate, but I do that mostly by email so I actually archive every post. That’s why it doesn’t show up.

Top 10 Feeds Read

This is a graph of the top 10 feeds with items starred. Starring for me usually means I’ll have to take a closer look again later. Note that again, “DZone: java” is at the top.

Top 10 Feeds Starred

All the images were captured from the “Trends” section of Google Reader.

The idea of feeds is that information that I’m interested in comes to me, and that I can just consume it. It should take the chore of finding that information away. It does. However, trying to keep up and pick out the important items in the feeds has become just as much a chore. Surely, I often find an odd gem that I otherwise wouldn’t have found, such as the BookletCreator, a website that turns a PDF file into another PDF file which you can then print and staple in such a way that it folds nicely like a book.

Nonetheless, I’ll have to remove feeds. I’m overfed. I declare feed bankruptcy.


About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
This entry was posted in Ramblings. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply