I count stuff

Continuing in the vein this week/month of reducing information clutter – and adding to my hardware clutter – more later – I decided to go one step further and try to make my Google Reader more effective. I had subscribed (if that is the verb) to so much that I could no longer bear to look… except as an insomnia cure, when quite frankly I will do anything!

Having this rather weird fixation with numbers – no not in a clever way, I wish it was – rather I just find myself counting, and I have often counted into the hundreds before I notice. (It is often the case that on dog walks I count the number of steps I take, and only when I get home do I realise what I was doing… I know, seek help :))

Any road, I also use my counting fixation to manage stuff, make decisions, picking a random number, and pontificating using many and varied (usually barking) tools of measurement stopping at that number and plumping with the associated choice. Er, this might make me seem rather slapdash to future employers, sorry – I try to keep this to the trivial, say Mac or PC? – or some such demotive argument. *Emma grins wickedly at all Mac bullies*

So, I decided to pick a random number to manage my Google Reader… I came up with five, and immediately told myself not to be so ridiculous. Then – the children being asleep – I chose to see if I could do it. Just five feeds, five people without whom I would not be able to do my day job, either for entertainment value or education.

Guess what? I did it

Do you know how many people I had subscribed to before I did this? 236 – I kid you not…

I am eager :) well, eager and also I added people because I could, every time I read a good post, or someone commented here, I would subscribe to their blog etc etc… news blah. Or searching for a subject that I was into and subscribing to the blogs with the most posts… madness.

Resulting in this horrific cacophony of digital noise: everyone talking at the same time, different subjects, random thoughts.

When I moaned, as I may occasionally have done, friends would tell me to file this stuff, streamline it… I don’t even file my nails, as if I am going to go in and actually manage this information flow! I know that I can, and easily too, but when you have that many feeds, even insomnia is more attractive to filing. (May just be me).

Deletion was the only answer. And so now I have five, and I have five feeds that I will be watching intensely. I will not bore you with my decision process, it is and should be deeply personal! But now my Google reader is a thing of beauty, and I am really quite excited about tomorrow morning…

In other news tonight

Emma has a Mac – get over it

My iphone is working, and I am so in love with it (would blog the last hurdle of getting to this point but really, you don’t want to know – it works, O2 head of customer services sorted it out for me, and was good, but it took blood, sweat and tears on his part and mine), just waiting now for the reimbursement… any time now… yip… I will just put the kettle on…

8 responses

  1. Oh f*** I hate you sometimes ;-)
    Why do you make me think and why is all you say just so right!

    Gathering ‘friends’ on Facebook, followers on Twitter, blogs “I may read one day” is just so pointless!

    I think i’ve said this before in response to one of your blogs, what really really matters are the quality of the relationships we have, both on and off line not the quantity. I want a small intimate candle-lit dinner, not a ‘king party in the Dome!

    You inspire me and I mean all of this (apart from hating you of course!)

  2. I know the power of feeds, they are addictive. I use NetNewsWire myself which has a nice “sort by attention” feature which allows me to focus as necessary whilst not losing sight of the big blog world. Of course, I am a fox not a hedgehog so YMMV. :)

  3. Paul – thank you – I think ;)

    Mark, OK confused by the fox hedgehog thing… but what do you mean by lose sight of the big blog world? It is there, so is space, why are you subscribed to it? Ah well, I used my own sort by attention feateure – the delete key *grins*. Had time for a coffee with a co dog-walker this morning, unheard of before.

  4. I had a complete Google Reader cull a few months ago, but it’s built up again. Part of the problem is subscribing to my local noomeeja community’s already-aggregated “Planet” feed, which builds up too fast to keep up with.

    At least I Can Has Cheezburger lolcat photos only take a few seconds to laugh at :)

    I’m considering taking the plunge with AideRSS (“The most efficient way to get the news and posts that matter”). RSS is great, but can quickly become overwhelming. I do my own version of Crackberry-style “always-on” by reading blog posts on the train using Google Reader Mobile…

  5. Tim, I am completely sure that the five will quickly replicate themselves as if by magic when I start going wandering for new stuff again. I also plan to rotate them over the next few months – ruthless I will be. I Can Has Cheezburger lolcat stuff I only read if it pops up on the Home Page of WordPress, is enough :)

    Re train, I also have a weird thing whereby movement sends me to sleep – lift to work anyone?! I always sleep on the train – cannot help it… and in the car, bus, tube – seem to be exposing far too many of my oddities here!

  6. My odd way of putting things, i like it when you make my brain hurt!
    There is so much more out there in this world than computers.
    Flippant comment, but are we saving the lives of small children or those in trouble.. Or are we massaging egos and building empires?
    Flame war begins!
    P x

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