This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

What is your blog reading policy?

YAFLE picked up on something from Common Craft with What’s Your RSS Reading Strategy?. He uses Bloglines and scans about once a day. I've been meaning to respond since he posted, but have just written something similar on a local mailing list, so I have a starting point.

I use an aggregator (NewsGator). There is no sense in visiting each website individually to figure out whether they have posted something new, particularly with the number I am reading. This means that if a blog doesn't have a web feed, it is highly unlikely that I will read it.  In fact, there are no blogs today that I read on their website directly.

I also prefer full-text feeds, rather than partials. I've dropped several partial feeds recently because I couldn't be bothered chasing down the full source. NewsGator has a fetchlinks plug-in that enables it to pull down the entire web page for the sites that only offer partial feeds, but this is not always an acceptable solution for me.

For the numbers: I have 377 feeds in my aggregator. Those who know weblogs, know that there are probably many in my aggregator that are not updated on a regular basis. That's the other advantage of the aggregator: it doesn't affect my process when a blogger drops out. My reads are grouped by my interest areas as follows:

  • Regular reads (32): Feeds I really read every day that span a wide range of topics and people, from my wife's blog to those of people who say things I like to stay on top of.
  • KM-ish (48): Additional knowledge management-related weblogs. 
  • Almost regular (23): Other blogs that I like to view on a nearly-regular basis.
  • CLOC (3): Feeds for the class I am teaching.  Will likely go away when I am done teaching the class in June.
  • MeshForum (8): MeshForum blog and other web feeds for the conference, like the del.icio.us feed for meshforum2005.
  • Work Effectiveness (6): New category for blogs that write about personal effectiveness and personal ideas for getting things done.
  • Other Interesting (86): Catch-all for blogs that I like to scan. 
  • People (10): People I've met with whom I want to feel continued connection.  A few are also in my regular reads.
  • Tools (17): Blogs for the tools I use, frequently filled with tips or ideas on how to use the tools better.
  • Organizations (5): Feeds for organizations I'm working with that happen to have blogs or syndication of some sort.
  • Blogging and Social Software (14): Writers on blogging and social software.
  • PM and TOC (9): Project management and theory of constraints blogs that aren't in elsewhere.
  • Business (5): Business-centric blogs that are useful to view once in a while for me as an independent consultant.
  • CSCW (6): People I met at the CSCW meeting last fall.  I've moved most to "interesting" or other places, but haven't decided to do with these last few.
  • Gurus (12): Big names that I "should" read but I just don't find them interesting enough to watch all the time.  I've been paring down this list recently.
  • Extra Fun (6): Fun feeds, cartoons that I scan when there is time.
  • Ego and Agg (10): My main location for search feeds against my name, my blog and "knowledge management."  I don't have a favorite among Technorati, Feedster, Waypath, PubSub, MyFindory and Blogdigger.  I believe there are others too.
  • New Feeds (8): Default location for recently-added feeds that I am still considering to follow.  If I decide against following, I move them into the Ignore category.
  • Ignore (69):  Don't read these because I'm no longer interested.  I don't delete them outright because I have found that I will sometimes run across these sites again, and I want to remember that I've grown uninterested in them.

I think there is more to this question about "how I read" that I don't think is answered by the above.  I am looking to learn and gain insights from reading these blogs.  I am also continually evolving how I approach my reading, based on both the tools and my needs.  With new clients, I will also shift attention to topics relevant to them. 

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