Sifting the wheat from the chaff


What does it take to be a tech blogger?  Lots and lots of web site tracking, looking for the nuggets of tech news that merit further research, keeping up with new happenings and generally tearing up the web.  Google Reader makes it much easier to keep up with lots of feeds and articles and provides a good insight into how I spend my time on the web looking for good stuff to share with the readers.  A look at the trends in Google Reader tells the story of what it takes to find those hot items to blog about:


No wonder I’m so tired.  :)


Kevin White

On the subject of not liking RSS, when you describe it to people, one possible ansewr is, “Why not just go to the website?”

That’s why I didn’t use RSS until recently. I just couldn’t ‘get’ it… I’d be using some other program, and then I’d be opening a browser, and I dunno… it was just annoying somehow.

Then I started using Google Reader, and now I have a zillion things to read all the time.

Go figure.

Mike Whalen

Yeah, for some reason RSS seems to have reached a plateau. Many know about it, but many more don’t. I think part of the reason is so many sites make it tough to find feeds. They’ll show a single RSS icon or “xml” is really, really small type somewhere on the main page. It helps that browsers have adopted a easy-subscribe feature, but I don’t know the adoption rates through that avenue.



I don’t know about you, but I just never found the “Share” feature useful. If I want to share something from one of my feeds with someone, I just copy the link of the post and send them it.


It must be nice to talk with people who actually know what RSS is! I swear, I have some pretty geeky friends (a few that even rival myself), but even the geekiest of them don’t know what RSS is! I’ve only met a couple people who do, and those people don’t actually use it. I’m not really sure why it’s not more popular.

Bob Russell

I wholeheartedly agree that it’s good to read much more than you write. Whether you a blogger or not. And I bet that almost every blogger was a reader before they ever considered writing a single post. I bet that it’s universally the fascination with technology that drives people much more than the blogging. The blogging is the secondary desire to share the information.

I would be interested to know how many bloggers were the type to save and share articles and comic strips and news items with others before the internet ever existed. Or who tended to do that a lot via email before blogging.

Oddly enough, I think it has a lot more to do with interest and desire than talent. If we have a sincere interest, and even just a little bit of cleverness, we can all have fun with it, whether we are good writers or not.

BTW, I have about 280 feeds, but only 120 of them are feeds that I follow closely and never miss. (The rest get guiltlessly dumped when time doesn’t allow. I still feel like I’m missing good stuff, but nobody can or should read everything!)

Mike Whalen

I think we’re lightweights. ;-)

“From your 195 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 23,503 items, starred 5 items, and shared 0 items.”

Hmmm… that “shared 0 items” stands out like I’m a big meanie.

Kevin C. Tofel

It’s ironic that you posted this today. Several of the bloggers I met with last night were chatting about this topic when asked what our typical day is like. We generally read MUCH more than we write, by far. I’ve read a book a week for as long as I can remember, plus I was a night supervisor at a library for 5 years: that plus my inherent gekkiness explains why I love what I do. :)

James Kendrick

Mark, good idea, maybe Kevin and I will post our feeds in the future. I also star items I want to either read later or feel might be blog-worthy. Due to constraints on my time I have to be selective about that. I read my river of news by scrolling down the items very fast, stopping when I see something of interest. The scrolling automatically marks passed items as read, something that is a big time-saver for me.


How about a list of the feeds you follow? I’m always on the lookout for new feeds (I’m addicted).

My stats are:
From your 146 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 14,639 items, starred 126 items, and shared 0 items.

I use starring to mark items I want to read later or might want to reference in the future. It’s easier than “mark unread.” What do you use it for?

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