Too Much RSS Reading

July 31, 2010 at 5:25 am Leave a comment

Chris Brogan gets it right when it comes to reading RSS feeds

Unless it is. I was having a conversation with a real estate friend the other day, and he asked me where I found the time to read all the various blog articles that I read at any given time. I told him that it was part of my job to be in the know and to share useful information. He said that he sometimes couldn’t find the time. I challenged him back by asking, “Will it really improve your business, reading all those feeds?”

We read on autopilot at times. We read because consumption is part of what the web gives us in nonstop streams. We can find something to consume endlessly and never hit a wall. Sure, one site might not produce information fast enough for us, so we’ll subscribe to hundreds of sites, plus what our friends share with us, plus what Twitter shares with us, etc.

But for most of us, staying current on several dozen (or several hundred) news feeds isn’t our job. It’s a way to feel current, but it doesn’t always positively impact our decisions and plans.

How addicted are you to checking for NEW on the web? And what if you “fasted” for a few days, so that you only checked on Mondays and Thursdays or similar? What would that do to your other productive needs?

I have complied a massive amount of RSS feeds. The amount of feeds that I have is 2000+ feeds between two Google Reader accounts. I am literally the expert on designing custom Topix and Google News RSS feeds. I have spent significant amount of my spare time to learn master the art of writing custom Google News and Topix RSS feeds.

I usually spend a significant portion of my spare time at looking at the results of my Topix or Google News feeds. On the weekends, I could literally spend hours looking at the RSS feeds that I have created.

As Brogan stated in his post, you should not spend all of the time on RSS feeds. It is not necessary to stay current on every political or technology issue. Instead of spending all day of Saturday looking at RSS feeds, I could watch a movie or go walk on the beach. There is more productive uses of time than just spending time looking at RSS feeds

I do not think that RSS feeds result in social isolation. It is easy for me to get motivated to go on Burning Man campout or a hiking trip with the Sierra Club. Even on Saturday where my group of friends are not doing anything, I will go to a speaker meeting so I can see my friends in the program.

RSS feeds do get in the away for me in engaging in online dating. I think online dating is a chore and I will explain more about that in a future post. I would rather look at the information on a RSS feed than trying to engage into social conversation with girl that I do not even know on a online dating website. I feel that a “normal’ girl would not date an autistic, recovered alcoholic, and Burner. Therefore, I just stay from those sites because they will not “get” me. The intrigues of DC that I read on RSS feeds are more interesting than trying to find love from some dating website.

In conclusion, RSS feeds are incredible way to get a voluminous amounts of news and information, but they can be time-consuming and a unproductive task if they are look at after a long time. They can prevent you from engaging in other activity like watching movies because you always feel that you have to be on the computer looking at the RSS feed. I need to heed to Brogan’s advice and cut my RSS consumption to engage in new interests and hobbies. I also need to try to date online instead of looking at the RSS feeds. I am hiding from my fear of rejection and I should not hide from that fear.

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