Recently I found myself hitting the “mark all read” option in Reeder (iOS) and ReadKit (OS X). When staring at an unread item count of several hundred it’s easier to do that then trying to catch up. I started to realize that I had less time to read the “feeds”. Some of the feeds had less compelling content that I had thought and many of them had stale content. Some of the feeds posted news almost as fast as it happened, often with little analysis and insight. So why read them?
Earlier this week I switched1 from FeedWrangler to Feedbin. The Feedbin feed management tab allows me to sort my feeds by name of the date they were last updated. I had a lot of feeds that had not been updated in several months and some of the sites were no longer online. I got rid of everything that had not been updated in two months. Some sites may not update often but have excellent content. but I think thirty days is a good cut off point.
I also got rid of any sites that were too “spammy”. I had some sites that had a several updates every fifteen minutes2! And many of those posts are just short one paragraph links to longer articles on sites I already followed. I got rid of the “dupes”.
I am now able to find more wheat than chaff in my feeds. I am hitting the “mark all read” button a lot less.
I started using FeedWrangler shortly after Google Reader shut down. Recently I’ve had very little luck getting any support from the developer. ↩
That’s how often I set Reeder and ReadKit to refresh. ↩
I don’t see any significant downsides in leaving older versions available for download. They can focus on perfecting their app for the most up-to-date audience, while leaving virtually no one behind.Riccardo Mori
I can think of many. Even though the developer may clearly state that only the latest version is supported, users will still attempt to engage the developer to get support. I’ve seen it on the support forums for some apps. I know from my involvement with a local Macintosh Users’s Group. Some of the members complain to me that they can’t get a fix for a bug in some piece of software they are still using on an old G4 running OS 9. OS 9!
Think about it. Some morning in the not-too-distant future, you could be awakened by the alarm on your Google-designed phone (Motorola’s Moto X) running a Google operating system (Android). You could ride to work in a Google-powered robot car guided by Google-owned GPS maps (Waze). At your office you’ll log onto your Google (Chrome OS) laptop running a Google (Chrome) browser. You’ll spend your day analyzing documents and spreadsheets saved on Google’s cloud service (Drive) and stay in touch with your co-workers and friends using Google’s e-mail system (Gmail) and social network (Google+).
The virtual personal assistant on your phone will stand ready to help you with any question instantaneously (Google Now), and if you miss a call from somebody while it’s doing that, they can leave a message on your Google answering service (Voice). At lunch you’ll choose a place to eat using Google’s restaurant guide (Zagat), make a reservation and get directions by talking to your wearable display (Glass), and pay using your smartphone (Wallet).
When you get home at night, your house’s HVAC system will adjust itself to your presence using its Google-powered thermostat (Nest) and you’ll cook dinner under the watchful eye of your Google-powered smoke alarm (also Nest). You’ll eat in front of your Google-powered television (Chromecast) watching shows hosted or licensed by Google (YouTube, Google Play). Before dozing off you’ll pop a Google-funded pill to optimize your metabolism (Calico) and use your tablet (Android) to read a few pages of the latest mystery novel (Google Play again).
And throughout the day, of course, everything you read, watch, search for, and talk about will be tracked by Google’s algorithms—the better to show you the targeted ads that generate the high click-through rates that bring in the advertising dollars that subsidize everything else about Google’s business.
No Orwellian future unless Google develops an attitude of control by surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the history.
I’m uncomfortable with anyone company having access to and analyzing this much information on my daily life. Good thing I still get to choose how and when I participate. As long as alternative choices remain available, we have nothing to worry about.