Not just RSS overload: overload overload.
September 22, 2011 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I subscribe to too many RSS feeds that publish too many items and I can't take it anymore. Help me pare down to something resembling "essentials."

I've been using RSS for about eight years now, and over time, I've built up quite a lengthy list of websites I follow. Some of them update multiple times a day, some of them update every so often, and lots of them are in between. It's gotten to be too much, and I could use some help deciding what the best places to go are and still not miss much.

Another part of the problem is that with so many subscriptions, I see a LOT of the same story multiple times. (Happens in particular with Apple and gaming sites. Do I really need to read both Joystiq and Kotaku, for example? Probably not!)

I think part of my approach is going to be to blow it all up and start over and see what I miss, but once I do that, I'm also hoping to just stick with a few good sources of news for each area so this doesn't happen again. This is where you guys come in! In the hive mind's opinion, what are the best places to go for some of these categories:

-Apple (general news, software recommendations, etc)
-Electronics (think Gizmodo or Engadget, but not dozens of items a day)
-Games (news, maybe some reviews, all platforms welcome)
-Movies and TV
-Sports (general news, some analysis)
--Bonus points: baseball, football, hockey, and soccer
-Tech news (Ars Technica goes here, do I really need much else?)

Anything else you might have to suggest is welcome too, but these are where I'm most overwhelmed.
posted by andrewcilento to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As far as video games go, you can get by with Rock Paper Shotgun and pick either Kotaku or Joystiq if RPS doesn't give you enough to chew on. If you have any particular aspects or genres of the video game world you want to follow, that's a different story.
posted by griphus at 2:29 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

1. Keep your subscriptions.
2. Use Google Reader
3. Use it in List Mode
4. Scan the headlines, click only on the ones you're interested.
5. Click "Mark All as Read"
6. Go about your life.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:30 PM on September 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Apple: Daring Fireball, TUAW, The Macalope
Games: Wired's Game Life
Electronics: This Is My Next (soon to be The Verge)
Music, movies, TV: Onion A.V. Club, PopMatters
posted by popculture at 2:42 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I went through the same thing. I'm not answering the question directly because I think you should look at it in a different way. You're saying you want to pare down and you're asking for more sources. This isn't the way to go. You need less, not more.

The biggest thing is to dump Google Reader and use Twitter for news instead. Most of these places (Engadget included) only post a fraction of their articles to Twitter, which helps pare things down tremendously, while leaving out a lot of crap that's not very interesting anyway.

Some Twitter clients keep track of where you left off, but there's not a good, cross-platform, cross-application way of making sure you read every article. This will needle at your obsessive side. IGNORE IT. If something big happens, it will be mentioned multiple times by multiple people and you'll hear about it. It's OK that you don't read every single tweet.

Get rid of duplicate stuff. You don't need both Gizmodo and Engadget. You don't need three gaming feeds. Everything important will show up in every major site.

A Twitter feed (stream?) is one list that you can pick up any time and read through. You get rid of the "job" of going through every post, and instead can read casually, focusing on a limited set of news. This has saved me tremendous amounts of time over the old way of having a constant number in Google Reader that I "had" to clear.
posted by cnc at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I feel you. I recently connected my bloated Reader, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds to Percolate as a way to catch stories that are shared by several sources. It's in alpha, but you can keep an eye on their Twitter account for invite codes. I don't check the site much, but I receive twice-daily digests of the most-talked-about stories.

I then narrowed down my Reader subscriptions to my favorite favorites. They include:

Tech/Business/Design: The Next Web, Daring Fireball, The Technium, A VC, Fast Company
Entertainment: Splitsider (comedy including TV and film)
Sports: EDSBS (college football), WSJ's The Daily Fix
Interesting, etc.:, Coudal Partners' Fresh Signals, and Links, Infrastructurist, Open Culture
posted by GatorX3 at 3:05 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Piggybacking on what others have said, less is more. Look for sites that cover multiple things. The AV Club, for instance, covers movies, music, TV, and other entertainment things, in a reasonable amount of depth - bingo, you've just replaced nine sites with one. Any discipline you mention will have a site similar to that - for each topic you list, find one, and your RSS experience will be much leaner and more rewarding.
posted by pdb at 3:39 PM on September 22, 2011

Response by poster: Any discipline you mention will have a site similar to that - for each topic you list, find one, and your RSS experience will be much leaner and more rewarding.

Yeah, this hits it on the head. Basically, I'm curious what (if anything) the AV Club is for gaming, for sports, for tech news, etc. Great suggestions in here so far!
posted by andrewcilento at 3:55 PM on September 22, 2011

Twitter is a way worse deluge than Google Reader for me. I've also found the story overlap to be much, much worse there, so I'd hesitate to recommend that as a replacement.

When I started getting overwhelmed with Google Reader, I fixed it by making three folders for everything: "daily," "weekly," and "rarely." They're self explanatory - "daily" is limited to the 10 or so blogs I want to read content from every day, while the others are much longer lists that I like to skim through occasionally. This is so much easier to manage than folders organized by subject because you can pick which to read based on how much time you have and still not feel like you're missing out.
posted by ella wren at 8:56 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was just discussing this with a friend on her blog. What I do is if I feel overwhelmed, I go through my feeds. If there isn't at least one post per day (or if they post once a day or less, maybe 1 out of the last 10 posts) that I'm interested in, I unsubscribe. Also, I take into account how many times I see duplicate stories... if it seems a feed is mostly duplicates, I'll delete one or the other.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:16 PM on September 22, 2011

One of the nice things about engadget is that they produce per-category rss feeds. That can help cut down on the amount of stuff that you receive.
posted by mmascolino at 5:37 AM on September 23, 2011

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