Feed Reading Strategy: Skim, Scan & Save

When I work with someone, I give new RSS users a goal of subscribing to 20-40 RSS feeds, as well as a few search terms important to their own business.

After awhile, I teach them how to Prune their RSS habits. Man, reading feeds can become addictive – so I coach against the addiction.

The third step – and only after they’ve built some scanning muscles – is what I call the Skim, Scan & Save method of reading feeds.  Almost every aggregator has a "save" feature. Google Reader calls it "Starred Items."

As you read your feeds, starting with the headlines and moving fast, save those you will want to digest further (and later). Go back three or four times a week (or daily) and get the full dose of those items you save.

I subscribe to around 600 feeds. I don’t come close to reading every item, but I save and look closely at about 200-300 items each week. Considering many bloggers post multiple times each day, I’ll weed out 2/3 of the feed items by using the Skim, Scan & Save method.

If I miss something important, someone will blog about it (usually with a better headline or a few eye rests in the post).

How do you digest your feeds?

Photo on Flickr by _chance_

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  1. says

    I have a short list of my favorite blogs. About once a week I’ll drop in at those blogs and scan the front page. I like it when the whole post is included on the front page. That way I can digest 10 posts in a few minutes. I try to leave a comment on one of the best posts.
    Since few people write more than 10 posts a week, I can usually catch up on all the new posts without clicking through to the second page.

  2. says

    > Daniel. I use the blogroll as a library for both myself and my customers. It’s become a great resource (and the links help too):-)
    > Ryan, a great strategy indeed. I used to be able to do that type of thing with MyBlogLog…but that has grown so large. Your idea is almost like a personal A-List. Have you tried PageFlakes?

  3. says

    Another great tip is to make use of folders. I know Google Reader has them, but I’m not sure about other feed readers. I have some folders that have “must read” blogs, and then other folders for more off-beat stuff that I only check in on every now and then.