Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Blog subscriptions scaled down…
June 8th, 2008

Last night, about 5.00PM, I opened up Google Reader and there were exactly 400 unread items. It had only been a couple of days since I had cleared Google Reader. I marked some folders as ‘read’ and then scanned through the remaining items and earmarked 46 of the posts for later reading. So 46 posts out of 400 caught my eye. About 10%. Time to rethink the number of blog subscriptions I read.

This morning I opened up Google Reader and deleted about 100 blog subscriptions. I had subscribed to about 240 blogs and various other feeds. I deleted some blogs that seemingly mirrored others and those which had not been updated for several months. Some were easy to delete as I had simply subscribed to them during workshops. I had been wanting to perform this digital surgery for some time

I am going to peruse some of the top 50 P-12 blogs listed by Scott McLeod that I have not subscribed to at this point in time. Shall add them if I feel they serve my needs. I will probably then sift through Google Reader once more.

It was definitely time to rationalise the number of blogs that I read. It was simply taking up too much of my time. Time that should be spent with my wife, listening to music, playing with the cat and performing tasks such as lesson preparation. Important things.

5 Responses to “Blog subscriptions scaled down…”

  1. Ken Allan Says:

    Tena koe John

    As I read your latest post I felt an empathy for all that you expressed. I am a new subscriber, not to any particular blog, just a new subscriber. I installed Google Reader at the beginning of May. But I now have over 60 blog sites that are listed there! No way will I be able to keep up with the flow of information in the future if I continue to accumulate sites in my Reader at the same rate as I have done over the last month.

    It is the effect of the so-called infowhelm – a strategic information problem today.

    Being selective is, I guess, what I try to do when I don’t buy The Guardian or The Scotsman or The Times but instead listen to the radio news before I go to work in the morning and sneak a read at our local newspaper on the bus going to work. I don’t always succeed in what I set out to do, but I feel good about it, even if I know that there are posts, newspapers and bulletins that I’ve never read.

    I think you did the right thing in culling the sites that were of no use to you. Good on ya mate! You’re right. There is more to life than keeping up with all the reading from every corner of the Globe.

    Enjoy playing with the cat and all other important things.

    Ka kite
    from Middle-earth

  2. John Larkin Says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response Ken. There is a great deal of information out there yet I find that the sun still manages to arc across the sky regardless of whether or not I have read today’s blog posts.

    I have blogged about this before. I no longer bookmark as many web sites as I did years ago. I think the same should apply to blogs. What if I miss that great post? Someone else will probably blog about it after the event.

    Right now, listening to Iggy Pop singing a rather frenetic version of ’1969′ live at the Channel Club. Waiting for my wife Shao Ping to come home from meditation. My best mate Evan is on his way over as well and then my sister and her children. A great afternoon is looming ahead. Might fire up Seesmic and post some videos just for fun. Some drinks, a cup of tea and biscuits all ready to go.

    Cheers, John.

  3. John Travers Says:

    Very heartening to get this message from you John because feel guilty at not attending to my similar list. The capacity of feed readers to gather info. exceeds our capacity to digest it. I get your feed in, and only get a modest number of inputs each day. Tasty morsels.

  4. Ken Allan Says:

    John “Someone else will probably blog about it after the event.”

    You got it in one. I often read about a post by picking it up immediately from the Reader but just as often I read posts from a reference in another.

    So my hit rate ratio is about 1:1 direct:indirect. Statistically I need only half the blog sites on my Reader :-)

    Must go and weed them out right now.

    Catch ya later
    from Middle-earth

  5. John Larkin Says:

    John, no need to feel guilty. I wonder about these feelings of obligation that we seemingly adopt towards our RSS readers. Why should we feel obligated or guilty?

    Our feed readers are acquiring the output of many different individuals and organisations. It is as if we are having a dozen or more different newspapers delivered to our door each day. There is no way we should be expected to read every single article.

    I need to take a quick look at It has been a while since I have paid it a visit.

    Ken, yes, a simple analysis often reveals how many of the feeds are actually needed given the proliferation of education blogs and the rapid sharing of information via Twitter.

    Cheers, John.