What to do when you can’t be RSSed…

If the following leaves you confuzzled, the BBC have a useful guide to RSS which you should probably read!

If you’re anything like me, you read a wide range of things on t’Internet and, along the way, subscribe to a fair number of RSS feeds. On a couple of occasions I’ve just found the sheer number of blog posts ‘unread’ in my feedreader overwhelming. I ended up just unsubscribing from them all and starting again.

Now, though, I’ve found a system that enables me to keep on top of things. It’s a combination of a really useful web service and a Firefox plugin that works with Google Reader.

AideRSS

Most websites only offer one RSS feed. I have a separate RSS feed for each category, but Lifehacker, for example, goes one step further in having a ‘top posts’ feed. You can actually do this for every RSS feed you come across using AideRSS.

All you do is visit the website, give the website address and it comes up looking something like the screenshot below:

As you can see, there’s an RSS feed for the ‘Good Posts’, ‘Great Posts’, ‘Best Posts’ and ‘Top 20’ posts. The PostRank that you see on the left-hand side takes into account:

  • The number of times that blog post has been bookmarked on del.icio.us
  • How many comments the blog post received
  • The number of other blogs and websites referencing the post
  • How many times the blog post has been ‘dugg’ at Digg.com
  • The number of tweets from Twitter.com linking to the post

It’s out of 10 and is only relative to that particular site, being the top 20%, etc.

If you do this for blogs that update very frequently, it’s easier to deal with the firehose… :-p

Feedly

I’ve been using a plugin called Feedly for the last few months. It’s basically a front-end for Google Reader in that you have to have a Google account for it to work. Feeds are presented in a very good looking magazine-like format:

There’s some great social features of Feedly as well – not least, The Wall:

Although perhaps the screenshot above doesn’t do it justice, The Wall features recommendations from other Feedly users’ that you’ve ‘subscribed’ to. It’s a fantastic feature.

Finally…

Don’t forget Twitter and FriendFeed. The things your friends on social networks share are likely to be of interest to you as well! 😀

How do YOU keep on top of your unread blog posts from RSS feeds?

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16 Comments

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  1. Hi Doug,
    I am a desktop reader fan, now on netnewswire a mac app. Since getting an iPhone and the netnewswire app for it I found i can go through a lot of my feed pretty quickly on the train to and from work. I don’t really rwad the posts fully on he phone but add interesting ones to my clippings folder, these sync t o my desktop app for further perusal.

    • The problem is, John, that I use 3 different laptops on a daily basis, plus my iPhone. Having Feedly on my two own laptops plus using Google Reader on my iPhone keeps everything organized well. :-)

  2. So I’m wondering how Feedly works. It seems to have taken a lot of the content that I have shared and mashed it together in a jumbled format – compared to how I originally shared it. See what I mean here:

    http://img.skitch.com/20081007-dqtjenm7475jykwg9swyff48af.jpg

    Maybe I’m mistaken?

    • Hi Darren,

      The top part of the screenshot is called the feedly cover: it contains a list of articles from the source you subscribe to in Google Reader. The list if filtered in 3 ways: what you mark explicitly as favorite and people you follow recommend and what is generally recommended by the feedly community.

      The bottom part is what feedly calls the wall: it is a more raw, time based list of all the articles you and the people you follow recommend.

      Do you follow anyone? (note: follow in feedly == subscribe to the recommendation feed of that someone in Google Reader).

      Happy to try to address any other questions you might have regarding feedly.

    • Yes, as Edwin states, there’s various screens in Feedly. The one you show is the front screen, but there are separate ones for each category, feed, The Wall, etc.

      I love Feedly – it’s great!

  3. So I'm wondering how Feedly works. It seems to have taken a lot of the content that I have shared and mashed it together in a jumbled format – compared to how I originally shared it. See what I mean here:http://img.skitch.com/20081007-dqtjenm7475jykwg…..Maybe I'm mistaken?

  4. Hi Darren,The top part of the screenshot is called the feedly cover: it contains a list of articles from the source you subscribe to in Google Reader. The list if filtered in 3 ways: what you mark explicitly as favorite and people you follow recommend and what is generally recommended by the feedly community. The bottom part is what feedly calls the wall: it is a more raw, time based list of all the articles you and the people you follow recommend.Do you follow anyone? (note: follow in feedly == subscribe to the recommendation feed of that someone in Google Reader).Happy to try to address any other questions you might have regarding feedly.

  5. Hi Doug,I am a desktop reader fan, now on netnewswire a mac app. Since getting an iPhone and the netnewswire app for it I found i can go through a lot of my feed pretty quickly on the train to and from work. I don't really rwad the posts fully on he phone but add interesting ones to my clippings folder, these sync t o my desktop app for further perusal.

  6. The problem is, John, that I use 3 different laptops on a daily basis, plus my iPhone. Having Feedly on my two own laptops plus using Google Reader on my iPhone keeps everything organized well. :-)

  7. Yes, as Edwin states, there's various screens in Feedly. The one you show is the front screen, but there are separate ones for each category, feed, The Wall, etc.I love Feedly – it's great!

  8. Thanks for the Aide tip Doug, I have trimmed a number of my busier feeds, it will help me get more work done as there’ll be less excuses to read stuff instead!

  9. Thanks for the Aide tip Doug, I have trimmed a number of my busier feeds, it will help me get more work done as there'll be less excuses to read stuff instead!

  10. I definitely struggle to keep on top of all my feeds, there’s some that I have that I just browse and others that are of more interest and which I follow more keenly. I also find that Google Reader Trends helps me to reflect on how much I really do follow a specific feed. Thanks for the info about Aide, it’s good to check out feeds on that as well.

  11. I definitely struggle to keep on top of all my feeds, there's some that I have that I just browse and others that are of more interest and which I follow more keenly. I also find that Google Reader Trends helps me to reflect on how much I really do follow a specific feed. Thanks for the info about Aide, it's good to check out feeds on that as well.

  12. Ok, that is definitely one of my favourite user-generated blog post titles. :)

    For those not terribly familiar with us yet, there’s a bunch more info on how we do what we do here: http://postrank.com/postrank.html

    And, of course, folks are always welcome to ping me with questions, feedback, etc.

  13. Ok, that is definitely one of my favourite user-generated blog post titles. :)For those not terribly familiar with us yet, there's a bunch more info on how we do what we do here: http://postrank.com/postrank.htmlAnd, of course, folks are always welcome to ping me with questions, feedback, etc.

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