What Are Your Five Feeds?

August 15th, 2008 11 Comments

Paul asked me a while back which feeds I would keep if I could only have five. Or something like that, the exercise was basically, pick five and only five.

If you’re like me, you cull your feeds every so often. Every three to six months, I get overwhelmed with unread items and cut out stuff I don’t read. Subscribing to feeds is a bit like buying clothes, at least for me. I hate shopping, with special distaste for trying on clothing.

So, I’ll buy more than I expect to use and return stuff I don’t like or that doesn’t fit. Feeds are the same way. I end up subscribing to more feeds than I end up reading.

It’s a cycle. Cull-subscribe-cull again.

Without further ado, here are my five and why:

  1. Slashdot: I’ve been reading /. forever, long before syndication. It’s my standard for geeky news. Who cares about voting anyway? Plus, I have a college buddy who’s been teasing me about reading /. for years. So, it’s also a battle of wills thing.
  2. Dilbert: Again, I’ve been reading it forever in other forms. Oh, and it’s the gold standard for snarky office humor and “that’s so true” moments.
  3. OraNA: Before adding this one, I wondered would still subscribe if I weren’t at Oracle anymore. The answer is yes because this is how I keep up with all the characters I’ve met in Oracle-land. Suprised that I wouldn’t keep it for Oracle-related blogs and information?
  4. Silicon Florist: I need my local tech fix, and as with OraNA, I’d still subscribe if I moved away from Portland (egad, no). Rick’s a friend of mine, and I enjoy reading about people and companies I know IRL.
  5. Techmeme: By this point, I’m wondering why I even need five. Techmeme overlaps /. content a bit, but its aggregation makes it useful to me. By subscribing to Techmeme, I get: all of TechCrunch (literally every post) all of Scoble, most of Read Write Web, Web Worker Daily, Giga OM, Lifehacker, Engadget, and Gizmodo a lot of Mashable and Valleywag, some New York Times and a slew of bloggers I can’t remember.

They’re not really in order, but I could live without Techmeme.

Looking at them, I’ve noticed that aggregation is key. Even with all this aggregation, it’s still challenging to keep track of the conversation. For example, my post on workcations had 0 likes and 0 comments in FriendFeed, at least as an item in my feed. The Ontario Emperor kindly pointed me to a discussion going on in his feed about the post.  I’m sure this is because the OE is super active on FF, and I rarely touch it these days.

Wacky stuff. Makes you wonder if the conversation even matters anymore, another discussion I had with Paul. I’m waiting to hear his thoughts in blog form.

Anyway, this exercise is similar to reading a person’s Google Reader shared items; it opens a window into a person’s interests.

For example, Paul shares gadgety stuff, like green cars, cameras, robots, etc. Rich shares super geeky hacker stuff, surprise, with a dash of geeky lifestyle and business every once in a while. If you want to know how to see the shared items of friends in Reader, review this post.

So, what are your five? Let us know in comments.


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11 Responses to “What Are Your Five Feeds?”

  1. ontarioemperor Says:

    OK, I'll play. Note that some of these are more like categories of feeds, rather than individual feeds.

    1. Items from my FriendFeed friends. Jake pegged me. Over the last few months, FriendFeed has become my de facto home page. I certainly don't read everything that passes by; my approach to FriendFeed (similar to my approach to Twitter, and other things) is to dip my toe into the rapidly-rushing stream every once in a while and see how the water feels.

    2. Vanity feeds. These range from Google searches to Disqus comment feeds (this comment will show up there at some point) to LinkedIn colleague activity feeds.

    3. Eclecticism. Michael Hanscom was the person who was fired from a temp job at Microsoft after he took pictures of Macs on the loading dock. While his 15 minutes of fame have passed, he still writes an interesting blog – one for which I read most of the posts.

    4. The feeds from findbiometrics.com. An excellent aggregation of material affecting the biometric industry.

    5. All the other stuff that shows up in my Google Reader feed. This includes Oracle items, social media items, general business items, political items, sports items (I'm working on adding more Washington Redskins feeds, now that the NFL U.S. football season is about to begin), music items, items from numerous variants of Christianity, items relating to the Inland Empire of southern California, and items relating to NTN/Buzztime trivia games.

  2. Jake Says:

    As usual with you, I wonder how it is you consume all this. Thanks for playing.

  3. Paul Pedrazzi Says:

    How could you miss FAIL blog?
    FAIL

  4. Jake Says:

    Ha, I thought about I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER? That would be number 6. I like the FAIL blog too, just not as much as you.

  5. Misha Vaughan Says:

    • MSNBC.com’s US News – Watching where the economy goes let’s us see trends relevant to enterprise applications. What are the emerging sectors? What sectors are in slow-growth modes?
    Techcrunch.com – For the geek in me.
    UXmatters.com – Jim Nieters – now at Yahoo – writes pieces for this one. That’s how I found it. Now I just like it.
    User-experience-design.com – I’m still waiting to see if I stick with this one.
    • Richard Anderson’s Blog ‘Riander Blog’ – I like Richard’s blog because he layers on design management conversations.

  6. Jake Says:

    Why not Techmeme? Each and every TC post ends up there, plus you get other stuff too. I would have included TC, except for that bit.

  7. steveballmer Says:

    #1 – The Secret Diary of Steve Ballmer

    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com

  8. Rick Turoczy Says:

    Wow. Still in shock to be mentioned among those great sites. Thank you. Now I have to think about an appropriate response for my top 5. ;)

  9. Jake Says:

    I have to keep up with local tech news. What else would I read?

  10. joel garry Says:

    “In purely technological terms, who wants to be reminded of a time before the iPhone or TiVo or network music players? Who wants to be reminded of a time before in-dash GPS or YouTube or Roomba or Facebook? All of these things have become fully intertwined with our lives now, and now that we have them, do you want to go back to 1998 and not have them?”

    Well, I don't use feeds, don't have a TiVo, wonder why I wasted time on YouTube, don't use Roomba or Facebook or have an in-dash GPS or an iPhone. The above quote is from techmeme which I only bothered with because I realized I had forgotten about it for years. It could all be cool. But I'm already maxxed-out. I seem to get enough stuff by letting actual people filter things for me, works a lot better than bots.

    On the radio this morning I heard a funnier-than-hell Seinfeld-doing-Windows imitation, wish I could have grabbed _that_. (The above quote was concerning the $10M Seinfeld/MS deal).

    There is funny stuff out there, but the popular voting type stuff rarely works unless there is a fairly homogenous audience. And firehose imbibing is fun only for a very short while.

  11. Jake Says:

    Well, I guess if you have people to filter things for you, this is a moot exercise. Lucky for you though.

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