Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Digital Landslides: How to Handle Your Feed Reader


Creative Commons License photo credit: nojhan

When I first started using a RSS feed reader, I just stuck things in the box. ((Prior to that I was using Mail as my feed reader…. not something I’d recommend, but it worked well as it forced me to check the feed with my email.)) Then, I stuck more things in the Google Reader box.  Eventually, I learned to flush the whole thing by using the “Mark as Read” button…. it’s like an instant clean house.  But eventually, my lack of organization caught up with me.

At that point, I discovered folders. In my smartness, I started one called “Ed Tech”, one called “Leadership” and one called “Just for Fun”.  Guess what? That Ed Tech folder soon was topping 1,000 posts.  And I never got through it.  Ever. It was a perpetual landslide of posts.  After that, my survival strategy was to create a folder called “Daily” and stick the important stuff in there, things that I didn’t want to miss… because I *had* been missing things.  Stuff I really needed to hear. ((And not a matter of A-list or ‘cool’ kid stuff, but things that were important in my development as an educator.)) Enter Kelly Tenkely @ktenkely and her second Bloggers Alliance– she shared the joys of Google Reader bundles. When our school started blogging, I created a folder (which I shared as a bundle) for all my kids posts…. and moved it to the top.  Then, I added two more bundles from classrooms I follow and comment on regularly.

More recently, I’ve disbanded the “Ed Tech” folder and started a folder for every day of the work week.  I distributed the old blog feeds into those 5 folders, and now add new blogs to the day on which I ‘find’ them.  This new system seems to be working really well for me, and I wanted to share because I’ve heard friends calling for help that are buried in posts.

Now, I quickly run through my student blogs, another two sets of classroom blogs, my daily folder, and the day of the week folder.  When I have time, I read my WordPress folder and Just for Fun.  I may need to make some changes in how the feeds are distributed, but in all, this makes things manageable.  (Although, Friday might just be a ‘flush’ the Reader day…. apologies in advance if your blog sits in that folder.  I’ll catch you next week!)

How do you manage your RSS feeds? Do you have any additional ideas?  What’s working for you?


7 thoughts on “Digital Landslides: How to Handle Your Feed Reader

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  2. Smart! I am going to have to try out that idea…first problem to tackle, I’m not willing to flush what I have in my Reader right now- 800 posts that I REALLY care about reading. Maybe I will split them up anyway and start working my way through them. Thanks for the great idea! Hope it helps us keep that reader manageable 🙂

    • I understand the flush cringe. Not sure what to do when there’s just too much- other than reassess what you’re filtering in. I did find that my ‘flush’ didn’t need to happen….. I just flushed a single feed rather than the whole folder. (GeekDad had 174 posts!!!!) I do trust that serendipitous conversations and sharing via Twitter will help me ‘find’ the things I need to read…. even if they’re stuck in a folder I haven’t gotten to yet.

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  4. That’s a great idea by making folders by days of the week. I think that might just work for me. I’ll have to try it out.

    I hate the feeling of “flushing” because I’m worried that I’ll have missed out on something so great.

  5. Taking your lead and going through my Reader intentionally today, time to pare it down back into a manageable state!

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