Up until this summer, I followed 75-100 websites via RSS on Google Reader. If you don’t know what RSS is, don’t worry about it. The important takeaway is that it basically gave me an inbox style view of all the new posts on each website. It allowed me to make sure that I didn’t miss any post on any of the websites that I follow. Google Reader was killed off this summer so I was left with a change to the system I had been using for many years to get my news.
What I’ve landed on now is dramatically different but I’m enjoying it more. I finally gave up on the inbox-style news gathering and decided that for most blogs, it was ok to not see every post. Instead, I created a river of information from these websites and I would dip my toe in as I had free time and see what was happening. I use Weave News Reader on Windows Phone for that, but there are many apps that will help you read news in this fashion.
For the very few low-traffic websites where I want to make sure I see EVERY post (xkcd, friend’s blogs, etc), I still subscribe via RSS. After trying theoldreader.com for a while, I ended up using feedly.com as my RSS reader. And actually, I don’t use the website very often. On Windows 8 I use the Nextgen Reader app and on the phone I use Phonly to consume RSS from Feedly. They all sync together so no matter what platform I’m on, I can keep up with the trickle of information that I’ve deemed extra-important.
It took a while for my OCD to let go of reading EVERY post on all these sites, but now I’m loving the feeling of freedom knowing that it’s ok to let posts go by on these sites. In reality, I never got to them all anyway and there was always this sense of unfinished business when I’d look at my RSS list. I’m still alerted to important information because it gets repeated often in the stream or I see it in various social media sites. All in all, it seems like a good solution.