Winter cleaning the RSS feed

cc licensed flickr photo shared by twicepix

Time for some winter cleaning. There are a lot of people who prefer to do spring cleaning, but once spring hits I’d rather be outside. I like this time of year so that it clears out the space I’m going to be in for the next few months. If I don’t need it or use it, it is in danger of being evicted.

I’m looking at the same thing for the RSS feeds in my Google Reader. The current count of unread items is well into the 4 digit range. Some of them are unread news sources and some are unread blog posts. I’m going to clean out the news sources by the standard *mark all as read* technique but for the blogs I’m going to be more heavy handed. They are all going to be cleared and unsubscribed. I’m not sure yet which ones I’ll resubscribe to or if I’ll bother to resubscribe to any at all.

There was a time when we in the educational technology used our blogs not only to throw our mental spaghetti at the world to see what stuck, but also to stay in touch with each other. It wasn’t just our ideas we put out there, it was also how we stayed in touch by commenting on each others posts and responding via blog posts. RSS was the conduit for finding out what others were saying or thinking. Bloglines, then later Google Reader, became the community gathering place.

Twitter makes a lot of that unnecessary. We can find out what others are saying and thinking in real time. All the small talk that is the social glue holding a community together happens on Twitter. I wouldn’t use a blog post anymore to thank Rick for bringing me back a Cubs baseball from Chicago, I’d use a tweet. Twitter hasn’t replaced blogging, but it has replaced some of what a blog used to be used for because it is a better tool for doing that. Twitter has had the same effect on my blog post reading as well – I usually read posts that I’ve found via Twitter instead of on Google Reader. Maybe I only need Google Reader to keep up with various news sources (although many of those are also broadcasting links on Twitter).

OK – here goes.

Whew – that was easy. In case you felt a disturbance in the force, I might have just unsubscribed from your blog feed. But don’t feel like I’m rejecting you. It’s not you … it’s me. I haven’t given you nearly the time and attention you deserve. I hope that we can still stay in touch and be twitter friends.

Levity aside, I have three questions for you and your comments here or on twitter are truly appreciated. First, did you find out about this blog post from an RSS feed reader or from Twitter? Second, are you finding most of your reading online via twitter or an RSS feed? Third, if I do decide to start subscribing to some blog posts again, who are your “must read” bloggers?