How to capture an idea

From Joanne McNeil, this is one of my favorite blog posts in some time.  Excerpt:

I hadn’t realized my number of subscriptions (now 752) was at all unusual until the Bygone Bureau’s Best New Blogs post went up. And Nav at Scrawled in Wax responded with a post, How Many Feeds is Not Enough?

…Folders are key to keep from feeling overwhelmed. I have four must read folders “friends,” “daily,” “boston new&events,” and “ballardian” (pretty much every blog on Ballardian‘s list of links.) I have about a dozen other folders marked by subject, but everything else is subject to “Mark All Read” depending on the time I have to scan through it.

…The funny thing about this, is just a few weeks ago I dumped a couple hundred RSS feeds and stopped following a number of Twitter accounts to clean house. I feel like I could comfortably follow twice as many blogs without feeling fatigue as the number I follow has more to do with what I enjoy reading rather than a limit to what I can control.

It's best to read the whole thing and then save it to one of your folders.

By the way, Michael Nielsen has asked me how I assemble information.  I read about 10-15 blogs a day and two or three major news sources and three or four link-intensive sites, such as The Browser.  I receive a lot of emails from readers, which almost always I pursue.  I've optimized my Twitter feed to find interesting links, which includes following Michael.  Twitter has decreased the amount of time I spend browsing on the web.  Most of all, I read lots and lots of books and plenty of magazines, in numerous areas, plus journal articles in fields I work in.


Why isn't there a "Mark all too busy"? This is software.

How much do you do what most of us shleppers think of as useful work? Is it more that 5 hours per month? Is teaching included in those 5 hours?

The thing you and other widely-read bloggers get that the rest of us don't is "lots of email from readers" who know your interests. Does that serve as a pre-filtered way to follow blogs? It sounds very efficient - if only we could all have that.

MIT folks have been looking at links to determine popularity of cross sites and characteristics of communities. They basically do a social network analysis of what you link to, what links to you, the thickness of your links (if you cite, how much does that increase the citing on other networks or sites), and what are the characteristics of the network in terms of age, etc. I don't have the paper, which was presented at a faculty seminar by the MIT researcher, but it was interesting in terms of some non-intuitive uses of SNA. What might be interesting is to have your audience post (confidentially to you) what other sites they visit, and you could do a market share analysis of your population and who your competitors are for eyeball time. Also, if your audience is going to ther sites, you should not be going to them, but to still more obscure places or promote cross citing to links that do not include your current audience to increase your share.

Also recognize that there is only so much time in a day, and sites rise and fall in popularity based not only on the content you provide, but the content your audience provides.

What other link-intensive sites besides TheBrowser do you read?

Lately I've been using Blurl to further optimize Twitter for finding content. The site filters your Twitter subscriptions to present only tweets that link to something:

Very handy when you're searching for content but don't have time to read through all of your subscriptions, or going back for links ignored while browsing on a phone.

Wake me up when they've figured out how to summarise twitter's tweets into a single yet highly meaningful three-letter word.

On a good day, I can learn a lot.

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