At some point, having an unread count on your RSS reader becomes as useful as an app that says “You have not read the entire internet”.
[*] For those who aren’t aware, “tweets” describe messages on Twitter, “a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send ‘updates’” to their friends.
Indeed, while I don’t think of myself as a pack rat (as I actually find it rather fun to throw things away that I no longer need), I’m starting to realize that I may have tendencies toward information pack-ratting. Fortunately, this is typically harmless; for example, with hard disk storage as cheap as it is these days, there’s little disadvantage to keeping old photos those I’ve taken.
On the other hand, it can be overwhelming to have thousands of unread items in one’s RSS reader. And, now that my taxes are out of the way, this may be a good opportunity to get a handle on that. I’ve only been able to find one article addressing this so far (not that there aren’t more, but I just haven’t found them). Kathy Sierra has an informative entry about The myth of “keeping up”. Much of it is written with an eye toward paper-based media (magazines and the like) but most of the advice is just as applicable toward RSS-based subscriptions as well.
Probably the most significant of her suggestions is to “Unsubscribe to as many things as possible”. If I were being glib, I might be tempted to write that off as being “easier said than done” ;). Kidding aside, while that may be difficult, I think that it may also be the most fruitful of her suggestions. Then again, with the number of feeds to which I subscribe, I feel like I almost need a meta suggestion (or even a rule of thumb) about triaging my feeds to figure out which to delete and which to keep. Meta-suggestion or not, I think I feel reinvigorated toward trimming my feeds.