Maybe it's the time of year, but I'm finding the time to do the things I want to do is pretty limited these days. We all know there are things we need to do with our families and jobs that take up a lot, if not most, of our daily time, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I feel like I could use another hour or two in the day. I'm not blogging as much as I'd like, even though I have a lot I'd like to get out. The number of posts I need to read in Google Reader is certainly not getting any smaller either. There's a lot I'd like to do, but I have to continue to prioritize my list. With the number of posts I need to read inching close to 400, I'm finding that I'm missing conversations and events. Some of the posts are time sensitive and it's not in my best interest to miss out on some learning opportunities. One thing that I've done to help my problem (this one at least) is narrow down the list of blogs I subscribe to. Over the last week or so, I've probably removed at least six blogs. While this might not seem like a big reduction, to me, it's a start. I know I'll continue shrinking my list until I find the right number of subscriptions that I can handle. What's the number? I don't know, but think I'll know it when it pops up. For now, the list must get smaller.

What are you doing to find a balance? How many blogs do you subscribe to? How many posts are in your reader unread? I'm very interested in knowing what you do?


  1. Martha // December 15, 2008 at 10:08 PM  

    I too have a hard time keeping up. I am trying to keep up a professional blog, the Northwest DEN blog AND a Web 2.0 Wednesday Challenge Site. Plus, as you said, there are so many great conversations to be read in my reader. Here is my start to finding balance. I am unsubscribing to e-mail updates. There are many great things shared in these forums, Nings and groups but it is just too much. I feel like most of the things in those updates, are also found in the blogs I read in my reader. It is a start. Probably need to work on my reader next.

  2. Damian // December 15, 2008 at 10:28 PM  

    Reading: I have 124 feeds organized into 7 different folders, and Google Reader set to "List". This allows me to quickly skim the headlines and see what grabs my interest and what doesn't. Once I've read/shared the articles I want to read, I Mark All As Read and forget about the others.

    Writing: This is a little trickier. After having written only 5 blog posts in the second half of 2008, I decided to put myself on a more regimented, but forgiving, schedule for 2009. I'm taking a page from Konrad Glogowski, who blogs infrequently, but posts high quality stuff. Not that I'll be writing at his level, but I'm aiming for 2-4 blog posts per month starting in January. That seems to me much more reasonable than trying to force myself to get 3-5 blog posts out per week, like I was doing when I first started.

  3. Sue Waters // December 16, 2008 at 3:40 AM  

    Well I subscribe to a lot of blogs but I normally won't remove one if I can help it. Why? Because my first source of information for writing blog posts is searching my Google Reader.

    How I deal with information overload is I'm really quick at scanning posts while reading. I've also got my subscriptions in folders which helps so I can prioritize which ones I read before others. There are a few folders that I'm comfortable with clicking on Mark as Read.

    If a folder is important but full then I also quickly open up the folder and read per blog which means I while use Mark as Read for those that I know are less important to read.

  4. Jennifer // December 16, 2008 at 3:52 PM  

    What I like reading most about the comments posted here is that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL -- and we all need to work on making this "work" best for each individual.

    The fact that SUE can handle more in her google reader -- yet I limit mine to 10 is nothing more than personal management styles. (grins)

    Thanks Chad for your post and also your comment on my blog as we seem to both be dealing with some of the same thoughts right now.

    Enjoy your day!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pedal Pusher // December 16, 2008 at 8:32 PM  

    Generally, whenever I find I am not keeping up with the posts in Google Reader, I unsubscribe to a few. I don't like that feeling of being behind.

  6. Darren Draper // January 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM  

    Ahhhhhh, balance. Great suggestions here and important and interesting topic.

    A few thoughts of my own, to add to the mix:

    1. If I haven't read it within a week or two of the publishing date, I feel less guilty about marking it as read.

    Often I read to find areas where I feel I can contribute to the conversation, which still makes me wonder: Can the conversation that takes place in the comments section of a blog post really go on forever? On some blogs, I'm not so sure. On some blogs, it seems that if you haven't hit that 24-36 hour window, then you'd might as well not comment.

    For the record, you're welcome to comment on any post I've written, regardless of the date. I read every comment carefully and have yet to place an expiration date on any of my thoughts.

    2. As for folders and how many posts I read, Here's a snapshot of what my reader typically looks like. I subscribe to a lot of edublogs, but simply can't read them all - and organizing my feeds by topic and priority definitely help.

  7. Ann Oro // January 13, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

    Back in May, I got to the point where I felt oversubscribed. I really pared things down. As time passed, I resubscribed again to some, added new items, and the list grew.

    Right now, I'm sort of working a mind game on myself with Google Reader's new feature. You can turn off the subscription count. I took a count. I am subscribed to 79 blogs. You can see the mental difference the views make here. I know that many of the PA posts are those direct from Delicious or Diigo to a blog, so why worry about the counts.

    Granted, I get to some conversations late to the party. You posted this on December 15 and I'm reading it about a month later. I've broken my feeds by state and country. It helps me see where in the world I'm communicating. This seems to work better than trying to break it into other categories.

    I think it's like choosing your favorite TV or radio program, things change over time. I took the screen shot, but I'm still not going to figure out my unread count. At this point, I don't really worry about it anymore.

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