Amy Gahran has some excellent self-reflections and advice about the way she reads feeds in her RSS reader. In short, ditch the guilt, embrace the serendipity!
Like Amy, I've lost count of how many feeds are in my reader(s) - at least 400-500. I don't feel pressured to read everything, I'm a big scanner. I have them organized into folders by topics I'm tracking, including my "ego feeds" and "circle of wise" (the blogs that I get the most value from reading like Amy's for example).
Amy talks about the "ego" folder:
To follow my world, I first scan my “ego surfing” folder where I track references to my name, my projects, or new contributions to blog-comment conversations I’ve joined. I check this first not just because I have an ego (hey, let’s be honest), but because this is an area where I’ve found it pays for me to respond quickly
I've found that the people linking to me and writing a blog often have content that I'm interested in. I'd love to know more specifically what tools Amy is using to track her ego finds or to listen? I developed a list here.
I like to scan for patterns and trends and ideas and what Amy calls serendipity .. I like to think of creative thinking - putting disparate ideas together.
Amy notes that:
In a separate folder I monitor my feeds from people I follow on Twitter, as well as my friends and groups on Facebook. That’s more efficient for me than actually taking the time to visit those sites. And when I’m done scanning, I click “mark all as read.”
Hmm .. I've got to figure out a system for this.
But lately, I've noticed that I'm getting my best finds via content with other people's tag streams or twitter tweets. But I visit those places. One problem. I'm having is that I feel scattered and random. How can you micro scan? I find it very centering to go back to reading feeds in folders. Maybe I need to do what Amy does.