Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Subscribing to a Blog: 3 Things to Look For

Every blog has an RSS feed. That is, an XML file that is continually updated with the latest postings from the blog's author. You can subscribe to the RSS feed using an RSS reader (my fav is Google Reader). With so many choices, it can be easy to become overloaded with subscribed feeds. How do you cut through the clutter? Here are a couple key things to look for when deciding whether to subscribe to an RSS feed:

  1. Frequency - How often does the blog's author post? If you're busy during the day and a blog publishes 30 posts in a day (like Engadget or Boing-Boing), you're going to be overwhelmed trying to keep up with the posts. It's best to look for blogs that publish once a day or a few times a week with quality content.
  2. Originality - Blogs exist for people to comment on...anything. Oftentimes, this means blogs comment on other people's blog posts. This means that you can find five posts about the same topic (i.e. Apple's iPhone, Britney Spears, or Twitter) in a single day on your blogroll. Seek out blogs that have something new to say. Look for thought leaders rather than followers.
  3. Content - Your time is valuable. Don't waste it on content that doesn't add something to your life. What you read should be genuinely entertaining and/or informative. Don't read a blog because you think you should. If you can't get into it, unsubscribe to it and move on. There's so much content out there, it's easy to find a new blog to fill its place.

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