How I read my feeds

Tim Ferriss is the guy who wrote the 4 hour workweek (best selling book, now on NYT’s list) and he came over the other day and interviewed me about how I read feeds in Google Reader.

It’s interesting to see the comments. I actually started my feed reading behavior to keep other busy people OFF of feeds. I have lots of people at PodTech, including execs, for instance, that their time is better spent than reading hundreds of feeds just to keep up on the industry. On average I’m reading through more than 1,000 items a day and sharing about 50.

The one thing I just realized is that I appreciate the river of news approach. If I only have a few minutes (like this morning) I’ll only catch the newest stuff and save the older stuff for later. And I don’t feel guilty for missing stuff anymore. If it’s important it keeps showing up anyway. Like this morning’s Microsoft acquisition, which has already showed up three times in my news reader in two minutes of reading.

Comments

  1. I like Google reader, but there isn’t even a search box on there? I thought Google was for search and that was there kinda aim? http://www.surrch.com has a funny breakup with google letter today… it’s kind of right though because when’s the last time they did something massively awesome?

  2. I like Google reader, but there isn’t even a search box on there? I thought Google was for search and that was there kinda aim? http://www.surrch.com has a funny breakup with google letter today… it’s kind of right though because when’s the last time they did something massively awesome?

  3. Pengwin: the Internet isn’t about massively awesome things. It’s about small tiny iterations. Even Google’s search wasn’t massively awesome the first time I saw it. It was slightly better than Yahoo and MSN and Alta Vista. It’s just that the others stopped iterating while Google kept getting better and better and better.

    If you keep expecting something “massively cool” you probably won’t get it. I just want a ton of cool small things. Microsoft just released one called PopFly.

  4. Pengwin: the Internet isn’t about massively awesome things. It’s about small tiny iterations. Even Google’s search wasn’t massively awesome the first time I saw it. It was slightly better than Yahoo and MSN and Alta Vista. It’s just that the others stopped iterating while Google kept getting better and better and better.

    If you keep expecting something “massively cool” you probably won’t get it. I just want a ton of cool small things. Microsoft just released one called PopFly.

  5. Anything with innovation is massively cool to me! I especially love taking existing tech or ideas and using them in a new way. That’s what popfly does right? The best thing Google have done for me recently is actually Google notepad I think it’s great.

  6. Anything with innovation is massively cool to me! I especially love taking existing tech or ideas and using them in a new way. That’s what popfly does right? The best thing Google have done for me recently is actually Google notepad I think it’s great.

  7. I have lots of people at PodTech, including execs, for instance, that their time is better spent than reading hundreds of feeds just to keep up on the industry.

    And there’s lots of people in India that will do this job for you and give you those 40 nuggets out of 1000 bland stories. Take Tim’s book to heart and outsource your busywork.

    To play armchair psycho it seems to me that you define yourself as “I’m able to go through 1000 stories to get the couple of good ones” And if you don’t make yourself appear to be busy by constantly scrolling through google reader you won’t think you’re productive. Isn’t your job more of finding the story behind the story? To flesh out things and to make a video of it? Why are you bothering to look at a story every 10 seconds then?

    Also I have this amusing image of you sitting at your computer like old ladies do at Vegas casinos automatically pressing a button on a slot machine. One step above a robot :)

  8. I have lots of people at PodTech, including execs, for instance, that their time is better spent than reading hundreds of feeds just to keep up on the industry.

    And there’s lots of people in India that will do this job for you and give you those 40 nuggets out of 1000 bland stories. Take Tim’s book to heart and outsource your busywork.

    To play armchair psycho it seems to me that you define yourself as “I’m able to go through 1000 stories to get the couple of good ones” And if you don’t make yourself appear to be busy by constantly scrolling through google reader you won’t think you’re productive. Isn’t your job more of finding the story behind the story? To flesh out things and to make a video of it? Why are you bothering to look at a story every 10 seconds then?

    Also I have this amusing image of you sitting at your computer like old ladies do at Vegas casinos automatically pressing a button on a slot machine. One step above a robot :)

  9. @4

    Why would I want anyone in India to do anything for me. I wouldn’t want an American hottie sifting through my RSS feeds, let alone someone who doesn’t know me personally.

    This outsourcing is killing off American jobs, however slight that job may me. Keep the jobs in the US. We are slowly killing off our chances of maintaining our tech crown by giving our jobs away. Let someone in the US do it. Pay some university kid to do it for you, perhaps someone getting a tech degree. Give that person some extra money, not someone who is not contributing to THIS economy.

    Enough of the giving away of jobs to foreigners.

  10. @4

    Why would I want anyone in India to do anything for me. I wouldn’t want an American hottie sifting through my RSS feeds, let alone someone who doesn’t know me personally.

    This outsourcing is killing off American jobs, however slight that job may me. Keep the jobs in the US. We are slowly killing off our chances of maintaining our tech crown by giving our jobs away. Let someone in the US do it. Pay some university kid to do it for you, perhaps someone getting a tech degree. Give that person some extra money, not someone who is not contributing to THIS economy.

    Enough of the giving away of jobs to foreigners.

  11. I wish Google Reader would allow me to set it to not update new blog posts while I’m reading my feeds. I like to set all feeds to read when I’m done. So I read feeds from top to bottom. By the time I get to the bottom and am about to set all items to read, I may be clearing some that are new. Why do I do this? It gives me a clean slate for when I return to reads feeds later on, another day. I’ve scanned them and know I don’t need to again. So please Google, give me that feature! :)

    Oh, and let me sort the feeds by attention too. Robert, you’re a powerful man, can you do something about this? Talk to Google for me. :)

  12. I wish Google Reader would allow me to set it to not update new blog posts while I’m reading my feeds. I like to set all feeds to read when I’m done. So I read feeds from top to bottom. By the time I get to the bottom and am about to set all items to read, I may be clearing some that are new. Why do I do this? It gives me a clean slate for when I return to reads feeds later on, another day. I’ve scanned them and know I don’t need to again. So please Google, give me that feature! :)

    Oh, and let me sort the feeds by attention too. Robert, you’re a powerful man, can you do something about this? Talk to Google for me. :)

  13. Information Aggregation: Man vs. Machine

    The concept of information overload is hardly new. But in the age of social media, we’re all inundated with so much information a daily basis that it’s hard to keep up. I know I have trouble keeping up with 233