Friday, August 21, 2009

RSS is like advertising

Nothing happened Sigh. The holiday is over, and of course, back to work begins with clearing inboxes. The email inboxes weren't too bad, the spam filters having taken care of much of the dross. As ever, email brought me no good news, only work needing to be done (which can wait until Monday), and a huge amount of messages I didn't really need to receive (easily deleted).

The RSS backlog was more interesting. It would have been easy to declare RSS bankruptcy and delete the backlog, but because the information I get via RSS is much more valuable than what comes through the email channel, I didn't want to do that. If I had done, I would have missed some of the interesting things which happened while I was away, such as the changes to Google Reader, being able to send items directly from Google Reader to CiteULike, and Friendfeed turning into Facebook (possibly).

So I slogged through the subscriptions, deleting half a dozen which had failed to add any value while I was away, by which time it occurred to me that I could probably delete half of the feeds I subscribe to without damaging the quality or diversity of the information I get via RSS. Like advertising, 50% of RSS is ineffective. The snag is, it's impossible to tell which half until after the event.