A few years back I used to scan and then clear out my RSS feeds everyday. Over time I’d narrowed the feeds I subscribed to down to a manageable amount and in twenty minutes could get through the days main news, plus the kind of serendipity you get from niche blogs to keep you on the ‘cutting edge’ of tech.
A good example was Techcrunch which I subscribed to some four years ago on the recommendation of a colleague.
Now I open my RSS feeds only every week as the mass of news aggregators, such as Techmeme, and increasing value of social networks, such as Twitter, provide a similar quick check service.
This week I’ve been in to Google Reader a little more as I get the blog back up and running. However, the output of successful blogs has grown to such an extent that it would be virtually impossible to do the daily scan of old. Techcrunch for example, although I could also cite Mashable, is pumping out more content than ever and has over 70 articles from the last two days alone. This frenzied output makes me considerably less likely to plough through the RSS feed to find an article of interest.
Of course lots of fresh, keyword-rich content is favoured by Google and AOL Techcrunch’s owner, but ironically this drive for eyeballs means losing this pair. Great for those searching, terrible for those on RSS and a sign of the way that content discovery has progressed in an increasingly social and connected world when serendipity is a recommendation from a friend rather than a fortunate discovery on a what looks an increasingly dated form of consumption, RSS.