The value of Spring When integration doesn’t work
Feb 02

The Blog Reading Burnout Effect

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I think that there is a curve for reading blogs. Someone finds out about RSS and blogs, and they start to subscribe. They keep building up their aggregator until it has a lot of great content and they spend a lot of time sucking up information.

At some point though, a burn out effect happens. I have heard this from a number of people who used to read hundreds of entries a day. I am hearing:

I haven’t looked at bloglines for a month, and you know what? It feels good.

This doesn’t mean that blogs are bad, or that they are going to die. I think that in general blogs are still growing, as more of the mainstream is getting into the game, and most of them haven’t reached burn out yet. They also are more likely to not go as crazy as the early adopters, so may not even get there.

What this *does* mean though, is that there is room for smart aggregation.

Something else I hear:

I wish that someone would do a writeup and tell me what I really need to know each week

The pipe is growing with increased content and information. This means that it is more important for tools and processes to come along and filter this content out. Sites like Digg can help, but I think that humans still need to be involved too.

Of course, I have been in the human game for a long time, and that is what we are trying to do at We want someone who is interested in Ajax to be able to know that if they only had time to read one feed, if they read ours they would be up to date with the important things.

The challange is growing, and I hope tech can step up to help!

If it doesn’t, maybe I will rm -rf /rssfeeds and go back to a simple life :)

3 Responses to “The Blog Reading Burnout Effect”

  1. Andrew Collins Says:

    I appreciate for exactly the reasons you give.

  2. Chris Beams Says:

    I know just what you mean… having subscribed to over 100 feeds, if I go even one or two days without reading, I’ll get almost impossibly behind.

    I’d like to see aggregators start implementing ’selective notification’ – for example: I use NetNewsWire, and I’d love to be able to wire up my favorite feeds to send Growl notifications whenever new content arrives. At least this way, the content that’s most important to me won’t get lost in the avalanche of data that falls down on my machine every day.

    Anyone know of an aggregator currently doing something like this? I’ve heard rumors that NetNewsWire will be integrating Growl in an upcoming revision. There’s hope…

  3. Allan Wick Says:

    I have been using Blogbrige client. It allows you to set keywords and see relevance at a glance of lots of sites.

    It is a Swing client though :)


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