Some long-overdue cleaning
It had gotten out of hand and out of control. It was impossible to deal with, and impossible to do without. It was eating more and more of my time every day, and finally I just had to kick it to the curb.
That’s right, I’m talking about my feed subscription list.
The new world order
It took about half an hour, but I’ve successfully pruned and reorganized my subscription list; where before the subscriptions pane in NNW Lite was a sprawling single list of pretty much everything I’ve read over the past year, now it’s a lean, mean set of folders, the denizens of which were subjected to some vicious tests to justify their continued existence. I don’t know if the organizational scheme I settled on will work for anyone else, but here’s how it breaks down:
- “Design” is for sites that write, on a regular basis, about design and design-related issues. This group rotates heavily, because the best web-design blogs tend, over time, to stop writing about web design.
- “Dev” is, obviously, the development counterpart to design; notable programmers and programming resources go here.
- “Entertainment” is where I put things that I read because, well, they entertain me. So long as they bring a smile to my face, they can write about whatever they want.
- “Friends” should be obvious.
- “Meta” is where a lot of former web-design blogs ended up; there are a lot of people who’ve started to write more about the state of the web and trends they’re seeing, and this is where I put them.
- “News” is my fairly short list of trusted news sources. The Journal-World is in there, of course, but the only other general news sites I subscribe to are the BBC and the Christian Science Monitor. Tech news also goes here, but it’s a similarly small group.
- “Opinion” holds people whose opinions I respect, or at least whose opinions I feel I need to read and think about carefully.
- “UI/Usability” should also be obvious.
- “Work” holds various Django-related feeds, and a couple internal feeds for, well, stuff from work.
And that’s it.
The Great Pruning
The process of reorganizing also meant unsubscribing from a lot of feeds I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of anymore. Whether I kept a feed or not depended on a couple of factors:
- Has it published anything recently? Any feed NNW was marking as a “dinosaur” got the axe, with two exceptions: Textism, because I’m convinced Dean will eventually win another award for his blog despite never posting to it, and Phil Ringnalda’s blog because, well, you just can’t drop Phil.
- Does it regularly publish things that interest or affect me? I looked back over about the past month and a half to determine this, and was surprised at how many feeds I wasn’t actually getting anything out of.
- Does it regularly publish things I haven’t seen before? Sometimes (well, OK, most of the time) the web dev/design world is just a big echo chamber. When I want people’s commentary and reactions on a particular subject I know how to find it, and in the meantime cluttering up my feed reader with twelve different people linking to the same thing is just a waste of my time.
How long will it last?
Of course, cleaning up my feed list is just asking for trouble because now I’ll feel better about subscribing to new things — my subscription list is so clean and uncluttered that I’ll think it couldn’t possibly hurt to add a few new ones. And sooner or later I’ll end up back here, running through yet another round of organizing and pruning. Sigh.