Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Mark all as read" - Cleaning out my Google Reader

I follow my fellow bloggers through Google Reader. I recently left town for a while and came back to find nearly 300 unread blog posts in my Reader. At first I thought, "Awesome, cool stuff to read!" Then I realized that I deleted a lot of posts without reading them. It was time to clean out my reader. The following is a list of how I cleaned out my inbox:

1. I unsubscribed to all the blogs that were constantly "plugging" something. It's nice that you have speaking engagements or that you'll be at this or that conference, but I don't care. I am interested in your family and your genealogy discoveries so if all you ever talk about is your next big gig, I'll have to delete you.

2. I unsubscribed to any blog that took forever to load or was slow to scroll. I'm not sure what design element is causing a "slow scroll" on your blog, but it drives me nuts. (Mental note, ensure my blog is not a slow roller.)

3. If I noticed that I deleted blog posts in my reader for months without actually reading one, I unsubscribed to that blog. I suppose our tastes are different from what they were when I first subscribed to you. We're different people now. Let's not make it any more difficult and just make a clean break.

I enjoy reading interestingly crafted posts written by people I don't know with relatives I have no connection to. I know this is because we share a common love of an uncommon hobby. They are not "my" people but I've learned researching tips and felt the joy of their successes and the frustration with their brick walls. This is my new high water mark for following blogs: talk about your people, give suggestions, share your stories and you'll have a pleasant place in my Reader.

So now my blog reading is lighter and I'm able to focus on the posts I enjoy, rather than all that annoying "mark all as read" work I was doing before.


Debbie said...

Great idea and I think I need to do the same. I was gone for a week and just Marked All As Read. I think I'll be more aware going forward of who I'm not paying attention to and just stop feeling guilty for it!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Debbie-That is exactly what I was feeling...guilt for not reading things. I finally just had enough. Good luck!

Elizabeth said...

Heather - good points! With regards to your #2, I think that if people include large images (not necessarily large in dimensions, but large in file size), that the post will come over slowly, and the web page loads slowly. I learned that the hard way with some early posts of mine.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

@Elizabeth-Yes, I agree, I think some issues are photo file size. I also think that some of the blog templates with images in the background cause some issues as well. I have noticed that blogs with background images scroll slower. You would think that the blog platform would downgrade the image file size automatically upon upload...perhaps they don't.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Great idea. Sometimes you just have to simplify life.

Jenny Jones said...

Heather, this is a great post. I did a similar thing last week. You are so right, you have to simplify so that you can enjoy the blogs that you do follow!

I'm going out of town soon and will probably clean out again when I return. Good job on the steps to follow.

Jim Gill said...

Also delete the blogs that build their count by repeating the same news releases. I thought that's why we had the GeneaPress blog, so we wouldn't be bombarded with reports of how many records FamilySearch has added. I'm going to be more aggressive trimming my list.