The problem is there’s so much great, engrossing net activity and blogging going on, and I have so little free time. When I do find myself with a spare moment, I’m struggling just to keep this blog up-to-date, leaving me very little time to just surf. The net effect is that I just can’t keep up with what everyone’s saying, except in fits and spurts. So, when talking to folks whom I consider to be good friends, I’m perpetually embarrassed by my shallow knowledge of exactly what they’ve been up to.
Short of acquiring some miraculous new facility for speed reading, the only realistic solution to my problem is good ol’ RSS feeds. It’s generally acknowledged as the most efficient way to plow through a huge number of posts in rapid succession.
I use NetNewsWire as my feed aggregator of choice, and I like it a lot. But as an intended solution, it presents a problem of its own: I’ve collected so damn many RSS feeds that, when I sit down in front of the application, it’s almost as difficult a challenge as having no feed reader whatsoever. With dozens and dozens of subscriptions, each filled with dozens of unread posts, I often don’t even know where to start.
In the past, friends have advised me to just narrow my list down to a manageable number of essential subscriptions — a bare few that I can consume easily, day in and day out. But every time I try to do that, I find that I can’t really bear to get rid of most of these feeds. They all seem essential, and I’m loathe to give any of them up. Of course, I understand the corollary of that reluctance: refusing to part with most of these feeds means I’ll probably continue to benefit from very few of them.
Keeping Up with the Joneses, Etc.
That’s the analytical perspective. Emotionally, however, I feel as if severing a link to an RSS feed is tantamount to entirely giving up on a blog; with so many other potential distractions out there, the chances of me returning in a timely manner are miniscule. I’ll miss out on the great, meaty content, of course, but more importantly, the next time I talk to the site’s author, I’ll find myself rudely clueless about their recent developments, too.
That’s probably what irks me most of all… giving the impression that I’m just not interested in what these people, my friends, are doing. That’s certainly not the case. So I somewhat vainly endeavor to keep tabs on all of them, continually frustrated by the fact that RSS, on its own, just isn’t a sufficient solution for the more efficient consumption of the level of content someone in my position is faced with daily. I need a better option. Or… can everyone just stop posting for a while until I can read everything you’ve written so far?