The evergrowing pile of to-do’s
So I’ve been true to (some of) my word(s), and I’ve gotten subscriptions to RSS feeds and now know pretty well how to use them. The first mistake I did was subscribing to everything. It took a while of unsubscribing to get my total daily feed updates under 1000, and even that is only possible to manage when I check my Google Reader every day. Eventually, the numbers build up and I just need to flush them without reading them. Sadness, to view the splendor of all that information and to have to let go, to choose what I read and what I don’t, is SO hard. If a Vampire offered eternity, I might take it. But until then…
Socially engineered reading tactics…
I came up with a plan, a method. For the past weeks, I’ve been going through the numerous RSS feeds I still am subscribed to in Google Reader. I seperate them into articles I don’t plan on reading, ignoring multiple entries of course, and the ones I find interesting. These I seperate into two groups: articles that might interest someone I know, preferably an avid reader, more than me, and those that I want to read personnally. Those that I read I open in new tabs until the number of tabs seems unmanagable for the browser (around 10 tabs). Those that I might like to read, but think someone else might be interested in, I post on their facebook wall with a short enticing comment, hoping it will encourage them to read the article. If the plan works, they assume I’ve read it and want to engage in discussion with me on the subject, revealing to me the interest the article might have and its quality without actually having to read it. This distributes my research and reading process to other people than myself, although it’s very irregular: I don’t aways get feedback, but at least I get the feeling I’ve delegated, which dispels the uncontrallable urge to read everything.
…or how to get everyone on facebook to hate you.
You guessed it. I was clogging up the newsfeeds. I was posting so many different articles to so many different profiles, people were removing me from the news feeds or menacing to unfriend me. Everyone is free to do what they want with their Facebook of course, but this irritation one gets from seeing the News Feed monopolosed by a single individual still puzzles me. Would I be subject to it? It bothers me mostly when all I find in the Newsfeed is apps and sillyness. But then again, to many people, reading the news is sillyness…
Adapted strategies and future options.
I’ve adapted some of my strategies in two ways. The first goal was putting forth my short comments on the articles I read, in reasonable numbers of course, without endangering the diversity of the news feeds of my social network. I realised that with Facebook’s limited number of characters for the presentation comments that accompany a link, I was developing a shorter, more cynical writing style than my long-winded habits derived from academia. This is not something I wanted to give up quite yet, but rather to work on developing. That’s why I started posting on another blog (simultaneously consigning myself to the accepted opinion, that blogs need to specialise on a topic or a method of communication to meet reader expectations). This other blog is called Thirst; Quip; Thrust. Next is the urge to avoid loss of all those reading resources. I’m getting by with tagging articles that I don’t read, so that I can retrive them later in order to get the info on an interesting subject at any time.
In the future I plan on exploring other platforms for following RSS feeds. First of all, I’m wondering about the possibility of losing the trace of an article as it gets old. Will an RSS feed reader update the links that lead to the article as it gets archived? Here Zotero seems the obvious solution, as it makes a copy of the website. Some internet archives could also be used, but neither of these seem to work as quick as tagging within Google Reader, so I’ll attempt other platforms. For sharing the links and their tag clouds, Google Reader doesn’t seem to support sharing to restricted groups of people: only to everyone. If I’m correct, this is also the suck and motivation towards moving to another reader.
I also plan on concatenating feeds soon, again exploring Yahoo Pipes which has a lot of potential if it works correctly. I’m having trouble currently with the login: multiple linked log-ins on youtube, google, facebook and yahoo seem to be causing logic problems for these service providers. Guess they shouldn’t insist so much on us having a single online identity if they don’t have the framework to manage it. My guess is this will make many types of sources easier to follow, especially if I can remove uninteresting sports entries or multiple entries that somehow always pop-up in RSS feeds.