Really Simple

I don’t remember the last time I clicked on an “Ad by Google”. Or any ad for that matter. I just glance over them, not even considering them as part of the website. Maybe one day I’ll sell some ad space on here, but that’s not my point.

I noticed that I have also become similarly desensitized to RSS feeds. I used to subscribe to every site I came across that even looked remotely interesting. I found out I start getting headaches at 85 and then my brain just explodes somewhere around 100 feeds. Now — in fear of brain damage — I am weary to subscribe to a new feed.

A good rule of thumb for RSS subscriptions is that when you sign up for a new one another has to go. I mean seriously, what’s the point of having five-million subscriptions if all you’re going to do mark all as read and move on? Unless that’s the only way you have to feel like you’re doing anything; “I hit spacebar five-million times today. Proud of me?” No.

What you need to do is be honest. Assess how many feeds you can handle without feeling overwhelmed and being able to enjoy what’s being written. Subscription numbers are not like weights in gym class. You don’t look cooler when your you’ve got a lot.

My perfect number is right around 65. (Feeds, not pounds.)

Much more than that and I start skipping people. Much less and I feel like I’m missing out on something. Also, 60 is a good number because 50 of those blogs don’t update every day. They only update a few times a week.

Let’s do some math: 50 sties, with new content every other day = 25 new articles a day—assuming they alternate perfectly (which they do). However, several of those sites only write a couple times a week. So … carry the one …. I have about 30 sites presenting new content each day. 10 of those are news/links that I scan to see make sure California didn’t fall into the ocean. Which leaves me 20 sites to read. Only 10 of which I am most likely to find something good on. Now let me explain some more…

When I subscribe to a new article it goes on the bottom of my sites list. My sites list is always changing. When I find myself reading a blog more frequently I’ll bring it up a bit in the list. Then up, and up until eventually — if I never deleted anything — my favorite site would be on top with my least favorite on bottom.

Right now I have it divided into two groups: 1st and 2nd. It would take a lot to remove the 24 blogs in my “1st” list. I’ve been reading these guys for a while and find that the ration of “worth reading” to “meh” is above average.

The bottom sites (currently at 26) are being tried out. I usually keep a subscription for at least a month or two. Wanting to give a good oportunity to connect with the writer. If they update waaaaay to much then I’ll probably drop them. If I find myself regularly skipping their articles then I’ll drop them.

On an aside: I hardly every drop a subscription because of lack of posting. I would prefer that you wait until you have the time and energy to write something good and funky than write lots of bland nothings.

At the moment, I happen to have some headroom in my subscriptions. And while I like to think that I’m open to new sites, the truth is I’ve got this darn stigma about RSS. I glaze over it like a text link ad.

Something I love to do that is incredible dorky is watch a small website’s feed stats go ape after their site hit the Digg homepage. The day before they got traffic there was 24 subscribers. The next day there will be 450. By the end of the week it’s down to 38. But lately, I’ve seen the trend change: now it only goes from 24 to 57. That’s 393 new people that are desensitized to RSS like me. Who knows how many more there are.

But RSS is Really Simple. You can subscribe and then un-subscribe any time you want.

So hey — I’m willing to subscribe to a few new sites and give them a try. Why don’t you? Heck, you can start with mine

P.S. Ultimately, I wish more people would dive off deep and start to write their hearts out. I want them to turn on their computer, log in to the internet and start writing about something they love. Telling stories and opening up their view of life and why the world is beautiful. They don’t have to be artsy-fartsy with their words while useing fancy-pantsy lingo and sounding all cutesy-wootsy. If they would just let ‘er rip, I know there’d be some quality content. And that is precisely what I would subscribe to.

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