I am inspired by the comments to Lee Lefever's original What's Your RSS Reading Strategy? Several people left detailed descriptions of how they operate, along with all the people who have posted elsewhere. Two of them made me sit up and think how I could work better.
One comment talked about categorizing their feeds. While they meant "using folders," this got me thinking that I would love to add my own tags to a feed and then have my reader let me read multiple ways: individual feed, folder (gross grouping of feeds), and by my tag. And while I am at it, why not have a reader that groups by the tags the authors have used on their individual posts? As far as I know, most readers do the first two of these: let me read individuals or explicit groups of feeds. Do any readers let me read articles by tag (mine or the authors)?
Another comment suggested using watches in FeedDemon to look for specifically interesting terms in my feeds. I already have search feeds*, but wouldn't it be smart to set up an Outlook search folder to monitor all my incoming feeds for topics that are near and dear to my heart? This I can do right away in Outlook, assuming I decide what common terms I want to bubble to the top, no matter who is talking. I really like this idea in relation to the feeds that I otherwise ignore. If they say something about "knowledge management" I will want to read their comments.
The other thing I would love is a view that groups related articles. This is difficult - how do you define "related articles?" My search folder or tags would do this. Readers like SharpReader and RSS Bandit will show you related articles based on the links and trackbacks within the current article.
With these strategies, I am seeing something I want in my reading process: I come at reading from a couple different angles, and I want my reader to support me in that. I may want to read what Lilia is saying these days. I may want to browse through the comments of A-list bloggers as a whole. I may want to see what people are saying about knowledge management. I may want to read feeds from the people I've met. These groupings are not mutually exclusive, which is what the aggregators I've tried thus far assume.
* Search feeds come from services like Waypath, PubSub, My Findory, Blogdigger, Feedster and others. However, these searches come back with so much information (and lots of bad matches to my queries), that I find myself ignoring them unless I have time to read several times a day. This is too bad, because I've found a number of interesting bloggers this way. One fix: change the frequency that these feeds update, so I get less overwhelmed. Done.