My Solution To 3849875 Unread Blog Posts.

I know this is so not not-PC in the blog world, but I’m calling for an end to the use of Google Reader.

What??? Is she joking????

I loved Google Reader. I really did. It was super-easy to subscribe to my favorite blogs, my friends favorite blogs, blogs I kind of liked, blogs I didn’t really like, blogs I had read once or twice, blogs I hadn’t read but might one day…Get where I’m going with this? Every time I opened the thing there were 100-200 unread posts, and pretty soon I started just avoiding it altogether.

A few weeks ago I said enough is enough, and wiped my Reader, then re-subscribing only to the blogs I read daily. This worked for about 3 and a half seconds. Right up until I got busy, and Google was kind enough to keep track of exactly how many unread blog posts I have. Sitting down to reader and finding over 100 every time is just way too much pressure. No one has that kind of time.

Everyone is wondering why comments are going down overall, I can tell you why, we are spending too much time in our Reader to have time to comment! 😐

I decided there had to be a workable solution, and I think I’ve found it. (I use Firefox, so if you are using a different browser your mileage may vary on this.) Open 10 of your favorite blogs, keeping them in one window. You should see the name of each blog in a tab along the upper level of your screen. Go to bookmarks, click ‘Bookmark all tabs’, and select a name for that group of blogs. You may name yours by priority, I just call mine ‘day 1’, ‘day 2’, etc. Then when you are ready to sit down and read, go to bookmarks, open that folder, and click ‘Open all in tabs’. Your ten blogs for that folder will open automatically, and you can go through tab by tab and do your reading/commenting. It takes me about 15-20 minutes to go through 10, and you can always do more than one batch a day if you are lucky enough to find yourself with extra time on your hands. Generally using this system you will fully make the rounds about twice a week.

I realize like anything there is flaws with this system as well. You won’t know if or how many new posts there are until you get back to that blog, but I figure since I was never getting through all my reader posts anyways, I know I was missing a lot. This is just a way to take the pressure off.

I think it’s time to simplify our blog reading. Google reader is fabulous, but if it cuts down on the sense of community by making us too overwhelmed to comment, whats the point?

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38 thoughts on “My Solution To 3849875 Unread Blog Posts.

  1. I hear you! I just go through and “clear all” every week or so when I get really behind!

    And I find I cherry pick the ones that sound interesting… or if someone comments on my blog, then I go read theirs…. But I seem to be adding new ones all the time…

    So, I don’t read the same blogs every day…. I have a few that I am drawn to or that are pick-me-ups, or that I just like…

    But I do try to comment on the ones I read — if there aren’t already like 5,000 comments!

    So many blogs, so little time!

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  2. I get here through Google Reader.

    I found that putting feeds into folders really helped. So when I don’t have time, I can skip the “politics” folder and only review what’s in the “moms” folder. That way, I’m not overwhelmed (too often) and can focus on community.

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  3. About every six weeks I delete some blogs I read from my bloglines. When I get really overwhelmed- I just mark them all as read.

    On my blog- I try to keep it short-I hate it when it long and boring! Will give that up pretty quickly!

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  4. It’s difficult, because I love the community of people I’ve gotten to know through the blog, and I don’t want to miss out on new people saying interesting things…

    Ugh! How do the big bloggers do it? What am I saying? Look who I’m talking to? You’re telling us right now.

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  5. I had to abandon my bloglines, because I was going insane. I’m not keeping up as much, which is a different kind of crazy, but at least I don’t have the guilt-inducing reminder.

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  6. I gave up on Google Reader a long time ago. I only use it to highlight posts in my Google Share widget or to search for a certain topic covered by my favorite bloggers.

    I’ve written about this before and the response was always the same: We hate our feedreaders, too! I swear, if you are ever hurting for comments, just bash your feedreader and the lurkers come out of the woodwork.

    Just keep reading my blog. Maybe put me on three or four of your tabs. Yeah, that would work for me. I’m writing golden stuff, Sara, golden. Can’t miss kind of stuff. πŸ˜‰

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  7. Since I’ve pretty much turned my online life over to blogging πŸ™„ πŸ˜† I have run into the problem you’ve stated, Sara.. I’m trying to find a balance.. But, what I do is try to visit the blogs that I’ve linked on my blog, daily. I need to add more b/c there are quite a few more that I’ve been reading and commenting to lately. Maybe it’s just a big bloggy crap shoot, eh?

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  8. I agree with you. I like to leave comments – but I found lately, that when there were a lot of unread posts, I was scanning through them and then one post was merging into another to the point where I was forgetting who said what?

    Plus, Google Reader in particular seems really slow at updating, and I have found fresh posts by visiting my favourite blogs, before they appeared on reader – so I’m better off just ‘doing my rounds’ I find πŸ™‚

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  9. I use bloglines. But I don’t for a second let it get me down if I miss a few days. I just mark all read and then go read a few of my favorite blogs.

    For the past couple months though, I had a tough time finding any time to read any blogs. The guilt haunted me.

    We do what we can do. That’s all.

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  10. I’ve discovered something wonderful in my Google Reader when I’ve gotten behind on my favorite reads. it’s this button that says “mark all read”.

    Miracle worker I tell you. Miracle worker.

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  11. OMG…No kidding! My reader right this moment has 1000+ unread posts. As if I will get through them…LMFAO

    I’m still trying to figure out the best solution, and I’m going to give your suggestion a try. Something’s got to give, and I know that’s why I don’t comment as much as I used to.

    Great Post! Thank you! πŸ˜€

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  12. I’m new to this whole thing, but I already have almost 50 blogs in my reader. I find that since I was reading most of them before I started using the reader and they take forever to load when I don’t know if there’s a new post or not it’s actually faster for me not to have to open every blog. (sorry for that really long sentence!) But I have also found that some of them I leave til last, some of them I always jump on when I see they have a new post, some I’m just kind of ambiguous about. so my goal now is to get down to 40 max. If I add a new one that I think is funny or really good it gets a week trial period. Then either I dump one that I’m not reading or dump this one. And I’m not leaving my reader up all the time. It’s too distracting! I have X time with X amount of minutes and I read what I can, then come back tomorrow.

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  13. I never got around to using Google Reader. Possibly because I was reading too many blogs. So I just have them in my Bookmarks under “Blogs to Read” (I also have “Blog Communities” and “Blogging Tips”. I like organizing things.) Of course, the file is now vast. So I’m stealing your idea and having “Blogs to Read: Monday”, etc.

    You’re a genius!

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  14. I keep my very favorites in my Reader but I also have a folder of ‘Blogs To Visit’ that I usually run through once or twice a week too. Having too many in Reader at once really can make you go nuts!! πŸ˜†

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  15. I just go by my blogroll. I simply do not have enough time to read a gazillion blogs! Every single blog on my blogroll is a blog I truly love. Anytime I have any extra time I might actually discover new blogs that will eventually be added to my blog roll. I feel bad enough because I can only afford to comment once every two weeks on each one of those! I know a reader would send me over the top and I’ve decided against it for the time-being.

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  16. That’s a brilliant plan! I may have to implement it soon. I have organized my Google Reader into Must Reads and read the other blogs only when I have time. I still feel bad about not reading and commenting as much as I can, but if I let it this blogging thing could take over my entire day and who has time for that?

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  17. I have actually never used Google reader – so much of the blog experience for me comes from seeing the blog otself in its entirety – the look/feel/etc. I do, however, have a private page on my site where I have a list with the links of all the blogs I frequent. That way I can easily open it up on any computer. (and people can see I’m coming from my site)

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  18. I just save them in my favorites. The ones I realize that I don’t read I just delete. There are just too many great blogs in the world to be able to read all of them. Then again, I just found another one and here I am! When I have more time, I try to read back as far as I need to to get where I last left off. I actually appreciate some of the mainstream bloggers who don’t post something every single day because I don’t have to read as much to catch up when I’ve been away!

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  19. I gave up on Google reader because it sucks. I moved to Bloglines because, well, it sucks less.

    Google is so slow to update, refusing to update some blogs at all. Mine being one of them. Google reader hates me? Well, I hate it, too.

    I have 96 blogs on Bloglines and I am overwhelmed. I have a bunch I read daily and just hit the others as I have time. I feel like I’m a bad girlfriend when I skip though. Maybe I’ll try your method. I love Firefox!

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  20. I am SO with you. Right now, after only 3 days of not fully reading, I have the “Google Reader (344)” staring me down. That’s with reading some every day. I’m getting overwhelmed b/c I forget which are my faves.
    I’ll try your method!
    (pssst… add my blog to your daily read. :mrgreen: )

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  21. Thanks for the tip! If it helps me keep better track of the blogs I like to read then I am all for it! I hate Google Reader cause there are always way more there than I have time to read and comment on!

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  22. I do not use any blog readers at all. I tried and can’t keep up. Your idea is a great one though. I have too much other work to do so I do better going through my favorite blogs and to blogs who have left comments on my site as well as blogher.

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  23. I gave up on my google reader after a week or two. It just isn’t the same; I need to see the header, the photos, feel the vibe of the blog. Great plan…I might have to try it. Right now I do the same thing as Cakehead, read off my blogroll.

    I also want to thank you for the cre8Buzz invite; I mentioned you today in my Buzz post.

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  24. I use Bloglines, and just started doing something similar. I’ve been placing blogs into different folders, based on how often I read them. Some are everyday reads, some every other day, some once a week. (often it depends on how often that person updates their blogs)

    Now I can quickly skim through my must-have daily reads, then tackle others every other day or weekly. It’s helped a little so far. But I don’t think there’s any easy way to read 150+ blogs without choosing to cut a few out. Choosing blogs to cut, though, is so hard.

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  25. Definitely a good idea. I’ve been doing the once or twice a week catch up, and it’s kind of like watching a marathon of your favorite show.
    You can get really into the style and personality of the blogger instead of just getting a quick fix.

    What sucks is when you miss something important because you last checked the day before something good happened, or you were linked to, and then you look like an ass for not commenting.

    (Psst…you’ve still got an award over at my place. Cheers!)

    Like

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