Comment Challenge Day 7

Day 7: Reflect on what you’ve learned so far.

Hmmm. I will start out by saying this is a lot of work! All of it. Blogging, reading blogs, and providing meaningful comments. Luckily a wise person once told me to stop watching TV. I took her advice and I have lots of time for fun things like this.

I think the key to being successful in this community is you have to manage your time well. It’s so funny how often this world reflects the real world. In the real world I would not spend hours flipping through hundreds of magazines looking for interesting articles. Instead I would pick a few favorites, read them thoroughly, and occasionally try a new one out.

For me I think blogging needs to be the same. For the past year I have subscribed to almost every library or training blog I’ve come across. That might help explain my 611 feeds. I will admit I don’t read all of them. There are a few that I read daily. The rest I skim for information. I have this fear of missing out on something. But I’ve come to realize that as long as I subscribe to a few select blogs I won’t miss anything! The biblioblogosphere is good about sharing information!

So my task will be to pare down the feeds. I am not going to unsubscribe. Instead I am going to rearrange my folders so that my favorite blogs are in their own folder and focus my time on those. I’ll also work on narrowing down my search feeds. Do I really need to see every post that has the words library and training? Probably not.

So while my reflection has little to do with the comment challenge, it sets me on the path to being able to be a better commenter by focusing my attention.

I’d love to hear from some of the other bibliobloggers who I’m sure have massive amounts of feeds. How much time do you spend a day reading feeds? Do you read all of them? Do you filter feeds with searches? What other tips can you share with the rest of us who suffer from too many blogs, too little time?

Michael Stephens, Meredith Farkas, Helene Blowers, Sarah Houghton-Jan, Jenny Levine just to name a few. Anyone else please feel free to comment too!

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

Comments

  1. If you check my blog out, you will see that I started off in a similar vein to yours. I was reminded as I read yours of Clay Shirky’s video last week where he talked about the “cognitive surplus”…and not watching TV was part of the answer! See http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/010218.html

  2. You make good points, Lori. The nature of the Web, well, so web-like. One link leads to another and then to a quick comment on a photo and before you know it–it’s well past midnight and that blog post I had planned on writing doesn’t see quite so important. How do we embrace the chaos that is networking and being web informed? I don’t have the answer, but reading your thoughts reminds me I’m not in it alone! Now, back to that sticky Web…

  3. Wow! 611! I always hover around 200. When I get above 200, I start paring them down again. I think you need to find a number that feels manageable to you. Even if I don’t read them all, having too many feeds makes me feel anxious (kind of like having a too-full inbox or too many papers on your desk).

    There are definite some blogs I read in-depth, some I read in-depth occasionally, and some I skim almost all the time. When there are blogs I find myself skipping over and over again, it makes me realize I probably shouldn’t be subscribed to them.

    When I add a new feed, it’s usually on a probationary basis. I keep it in a separate folder until I’ve decided I really want it. That ways it’s easier to get rid of if I decide I don’t like it.

    One thing I’ve thought about doing is filtering RSS feeds using something like Feed Digest. With that, if there’s a blog you like, but only when they write about certain topics, you can filter for specific terms and only get the posts that have those terms in them.

    The fact is, if something is really interesting, it will get picked up on multiple blogs and you won’t miss it. It took me a while to get over the idea that I might miss something. Even if I do, I think I’ll probably survive. ;)

  4. Britt – Thank you for your comment. Off to read your post :)

    Tony – If you find the answer let me know!

    Meredith – A lot of the 611 are Learning 2.0 blogs from our staff. I wanted to see if anyone comes back to blogging. Only a handful have. They would not be a problem but for some reason blogger republishes them every so often and they get marked as new. I’m like you; it bothers me to have unread feeds. Sometimes I just close my eyes and mark them all as read. I’m going to look at Feed Digest that might be what I need.

  5. I’m around 500 and I skim the headlines of the posts, and only read those that jump out at me. There are perhaps 5 blogs that I always read, but I won’t give those names away (don’t want to offend others!). I like Meredith’s probationary feed method…I might adopt that. Sometimes I can’t remember why I subscribed to a feed, so I will just click through it without even skimming the post titles (bad!). I end up going through every 6 months or so and doing a massive purge. I need to do things more incrementally, I think, and will get better results as a result!

  6. I love your magazine analogy! I have the same “problem” as you – I subscribe to way too many feeds (I’ve never seen my Google Reader account under 1000+ new posts), which makes commenting seem like a waste of time when I’ve got so much new stuff to read!

    But, in the end, it’s commenting that helps me learn, and commenting that helps me make connections, so in reality, less feeds and more comments definitely makes a lot more sense (as is probably a lot healthier – I get anxious like @Meridith when I know I have “too much” to read).

    So far, this challenge has definitely taught me to thin down my reader – quality over quantity, right?

  7. Re-arranging my folders is just what I have to do again to manage my feeds. Lately I have fallen terribly behind in my reading (1000+ feeds), and am relying on my personal learning network to keep me up to date! Feed scanning rather than feed reading is of course another tactic for ‘managing’. Nevertheless blogging and reading blogs is definitely a fantastic way of pushing thinking and challenging ideas. Connections made and friendships found along the way are the added bonus.

  8. OMG Judy 1000+ feeds! Wow. Thank you Sarah, Kim, and Judy for your responses. It is so fascinating to hear how other people do things.

  9. For me, Meredith pegged it with “it will get picked up on multiple blogs and you won’t miss it.”

    I have a folder in my reader called Meme Watch for when I don’t have time to view all the feeds. I pull from specific tags at del.icio.us that have gained popular status and from tags at rssmeme.com. Techmeme.com also falls in that folder, naturally.This way I know I’m seeing the most relevant and important posts since I last checked my reader.

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