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Pruning My Feeds: Bye-Bye if You Don’t Provide Full Text

As I approach 1400 subscribed feeds in Bloglines, I’ve been making some changes in the way I read my feeds.

First, I’m adding more feeds to my Short List category. That’s the one I’m paying the most attention to. I migrating the really good feeds in my other categories into the Short List, so I don’t miss out on them. The flipside of that is that I’m ending up spending more and more time between full feed reads, and unread items were piling up. I would usually go a few days between feed reads, but I started to feel a little overwhelmed when I saw my total unread items climb above 20000.

So, I’ve been going through, category by category, and pruning my feeds. I’m using two criteria. First, if a feed is just way too noisy (generates way more new items than other feeds in the category), I’m dumping it. Second, if a feed is only providing titles/headlines, or is truncating their feed after a certain number of characters (with the telltale …’s), it’s gone.

Partly to save me time, but more to send a message – if you’re not going to provide a full text RSS feed, you’ve lost my readership. There’s no good reason to provide a crippled feed. I understand that you want to make me visit the full site, so you get page impressions, and ad views, but crippled feeds don’t make me want to click on your site. In fact, it makes me feel just the opposite.

So, if you’re providing a less-than-full-text RSS feed, and you turn over a new leaf, and want me to subscribe, just drop me a line.

EDIT: Just finished my first pass through. That felt a lot like work. Went from just under 1400 feeds to 1250, hopefully much more manageable now.

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