On Achieving RSS Reader Zero

I remember back a while ago when I first clicked that link saying “Mark all as read” in Bloglines. Yes, I still use Bloglines. I will change to Google Reader at some point, I’m sure. Anyway, clicking that link seemed a big deal. What if I missed something important, interesting or funny? Would I be missing out? Would all the cool kids on the Internet point at me and laugh, saying “Haha! Chris missed out on that really funny picture of a penguin eating a bag of chips because he clicked the ‘Mark all as read’ link! Haha!”

These thoughts sometimes occur to me.

Tonight I clicked that link again and it seemed a whole lot less … traumatic. And I think I know why. Even though I try to maintain a reasonably limited level of subscriptions – 130 131 feeds in my RSS reader, 27 people I’m following in Twitter – it’s still a small tidal wave of stuff to read every day. Most of the time I keep roughly on top of it, but there’s always some stuff I miss.

So, I ALWAYS keep up to date with a handful of my very favourite blogs. Mainly the ones by my friends, some people I really respect, and a few ones that make me feel good. Like Dilbert and XKCD. The rest, it depends on my mood. If I’m in code-mode I’ll check out some more development ones. If I’m in need of insplirations I’ll look at the design-oriented ones, and if I’m just plain lazy I’ll look at some more cartoons.

But it’s all expendable. I don’t *have* to read any of it. Certainly not if it takes time away from more important things. Like seeing my family, or paying the bills. I can afford to miss out on a few dozen, or even hundred, updated from people. You know why? There’ll be a new pile of stuff to read tomorrow.