Help Me Be More Organized (And Call for Blogroll Additions) January 28, 2008

Help Me Be More Organized (And Call for Blogroll Additions)

I have a blogroll page, and each of the websites there has an RSS feed that is in my Google Reader. Most are atheist sites, though there are some Christian sites and others that are purely science-related.

I also check out a number of other sites that have nothing to do with religion — ones written by friends, or local blogs, or others that are just amusing or fascinating in their own right.

That’s a hell of a lot of postings to check out on a daily basis.

At one point several months ago, there were several hundred postings in the Reader each day. Fine over the summer; not so fine when school is in session and teaching becomes my top priority.

So I organized them. Now, I can get through everything I “need” to get through in a relatively short amount of time.

I essentially sort my Reader into three categories: Must Reads, Others, and Good If I Have Time.

The Must Reads include a number of atheist sites that provide interesting commentary/opinions. I read through postings in this category much more carefully than I do others. Some sites post several times a day while others post once a week.

The Others category includes sites that rarely provide me with new or interesting information. They *might* have something worth reading, but not all that often. I usually don’t link to these sites, so if I’m in a time crunch, these posts get pushed back on my reading list. When I do read them, I check out the post title and the first couple sentences to see if it’s worth reading any further. It sounds remarkably superficial, but it’s worked pretty well.

The Good If I Have Time category (which contains the bulk of the postings in the Reader) includes a handful of sites that post 3298423 times a day. Sometimes they’re useful. Usually, it’s just fluff. I tend not to read them even if I do have time, but they’re nice to include in a search if I need information.

Also useful? The “j” key which lets me skip to the next post in a particular folder. I’ll spend less than a second looking at a posting unless it strikes me as worth reading.

I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions that will allow me to read through posts more efficiently.

And if you’re not already on my blogroll, feel free to send a message or leave a link to your site in the comments so I can check it out 🙂

[tags]atheist, atheism, organization[/tags]

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  • You can take my blog off. I’m wrapped up as the admin for, which now has an RSS feed, so you could add that.

  • Many of the feeds that I have been keeping up with I realized I can accomplish the same thing by setting google alerts or otherwise limiting the feed results by setting up the feed based on search results. For instance, I am looking to buy a new vehicle on Craigslist. Rather than subscribe to the entire feed for cars/trucks, I can search for the relevant vehicle attributes, and subscribe to the feed for any postings that match those results. Saves me TONS of time! 🙂

    BTW- I really enjoy reading most of your posts! Check me out if you get a chance: Fall of Hate Blog

  • I use FeedDemon for all my RSS reading, but I do something similar in organizing the many feeds. Feeds from the blogs listed in my blogroll get the most attention, but I also have a category of new atheist blogs that sound interesting. I check many of these out when I have time and either add them to my blogroll or delete them after I have a sense of whether they are worth recommending.

    With Mojoey’s excellent Atheist Blogroll as an option for everyone, I try to be fairly selective in the contents of my personal blogroll, recommending only those sources I regularly read myself.

  • I browse with Firefox, and use Sage for all my RSS feeds…currently 221. (I need to prune the list!)

    I blog about many things in addition to atheism, but would welcome being added to your blogroll…

  • Hiya –

    I’d love a link in your blogroll please – – I blog about whatever I feel like writing about (as most blogs seem to do)… lately, this has included politics, thoughts about black holes, atheism (of course), and Windows networking.

    Thanks for your daily awesomeness!

  • I just use “live bookmarks” in Firefox, but then I only read three blogs. Even keeping up with only a dozen posts a day, I still find the majority a waste of everyone’s time. Maybe it’s different for people who run blogs that other people actually read – are you obligated to know what everyone else is writing about? I don’t envy that. Yes, I know how old-fashioned and 1.0 I am.

  • Bad

    My blog has had an RSS feed for a while now. My subject matter has been pretty evenly split between atheism, skepticism, science-blogging, and civil rights/SoCaS issues. Of course I’d like more free promotion. 🙂

  • So is that how you stay on top of the news? I figured that major bloggers just get a ton of news stories e-mailed to them. Myself, I read under ten blogs, and then there are about a dozen more that I only visit when the mood strikes.

    My blog is about 1/4 atheism, and rarely covers news. Could you add me anyways?

  • I try to post on my blog 4 or 5 times but I have been slack this month because it’s summer.

    While I often focus on “Australian” religious issues, in my opinion the arguments I post about are pretty universal.

  • liveimagephoto

    check out mine its got an Rss feed too

  • Jason C. Romero

    I tried putting things into categories, but it just wasn’t working for me. I find that it is easier to just put it into “all items” mode and just skim over the unimportant stuff. I’ve gotten better at it over time, and it keeps me from just leaving things dormant for a long time and then eventually just marking them read anyway. Either way, you should give it a try.

  • While I don’t organize my feeds in the same Getting Things Done manner, I read them just the same as you. With all of my feeds combined, they typically hit about 1200/day so you can imagine all I ever do is read stuff. From what I’ve found, doing what you’re doing now is about the best way to get through feeds effectively, though not efficiently (reading 100+ blogs a day is in no way efficient and never would be).

    All I do is start at the top of my list in Google Reader and hit the biggest posters first: Reddit, Reddit Science, Delicious Science, Treehugger, and about a dozen more. I do it this way because I know that between most of these sites, I’ll see repetitious posts and cross-posting since many deal with the same market (tech, food, etc) so once I read an article about a camera on Gizmodo, I can safely skip straight over it on the other blogs with a slightly different copy-edit post of the same information. It really helps me weed out identical/similar information the quickest.

    Once you get to sites that post on a slower frequency, say mine for example, you can just speed read the titles and first few sentences to see if it’s worth reading. After all, good writing is about drawing the reader in with a strong title and a good opener so if a site lacks that, the post won’t end up drawing you in the more you read. If you hit U in Google Reader, it’ll minimize the sidebar so you can get more of a site’s feed on your screen so there’s more to read between posts, it’s a bigger window of “Is this going to interest me or not?” and this is typically how I read most feeds. Google has a video from Robert Scoble on how he reads something like 400-500 feeds a day in a very quick and expedient manner but I’m guessing he’s not like most people and simply wants to read the information but not necessarily retain it (I don’t want to read 3000 posts in a day and remember only a handful, that’s a waste of my time).

  • Feel free to check mine out.

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