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How To Process 15+ Feeds in 10 Minutes

March 25, 2009

Every single day, I sit down and I read 15 blog feeds, ranging from Engadget to Lifehacker to Zen Habits. I get around 150 posts in every single day.

For most people, this can drive them nuts. Yet I can comfortably read all of them, stay up to date in the technological world, and maybe delve into a few of the articles I find really interesting.

And I do this all in 10 minutes. Here’s how I do it.

  1. Use a professional feed reader.
    You don’t have to go out and buy a feed reader application or even download an application so you can read your feeds. I use Google Reader because it lets me fly through my feeds very quickly.
  2. Be prepared to use your scroll wheel.
    If my mouse weren’t a Logitech VX Revolution, I might take longer to process the feeds. Take advantage of a hyper-speed scroll wheel if you have one.
  3. Get Instaclick.
    Instaclick is a Firefox extension that allows you to simply right-click a link and have it open in a new tab.  The VX Revolution has a weird scroll-wheel-click that makes it hard to use. Right clicking is faster anyway.
  4. Open anything interesting in a new tab.
    Using Instaclick, I always just right-click the link if I find something interesting or want to leave a comment. Be sure to save them for the end. Don’t read them as you click unless something really pops out at you.
  5. If possible, read the truncated version.
    I know many services help you do the exact opposite and help you make your feeds longer, but you shouldn’t have to read the entire thing if you aren’t interested in it. Skim through truncated and if you think it looks interesting, click on it!
  6. Skim. Your life (or time) depends on it.
    Skimming is just so important to reading fast that I shouldn’t even have to mention, but I still am. Skim everything. If the first paragraph appeals, then it’s good. Now actually read it.
  7. Don’t just look at the title.
    The title is not everything. These days, blogs from Engadget to Lifehacker use “funny” titles. In many cases, if I were the one talked about in the offending blog post, I would cry. NASA deals become underwear; it never ends. Be sure to actually read.
  8. Just look at the title.
    If I contradict myself, very well. I contradict myself. Some blogs offer precise titles as to what they are talking about, such as Zen Habits or Write to Done. In these cases, just read the title. It should give you an idea for what is to be talked about.
  9. See what blog it is from.
    This goes with the above two. Be sure to take a look at what blog it is coming from. In these cases, Google Reader fails to deliver much as the name of the blog isn’t highlighted clearly. On the other hand, once you use it enough, you get used to it.
  10. Get distracted.
    In many ways, reading feeds is a way to burn time. Very few people’s jobs actually depend on reading Engadget or XKCD every single day. Therefore, be sure to get distracted. Put on music, open up other work while you are at it. Read feeds when your programs are starting.
  11. Remember to stay involved.
    Remember that the Internet is still a community. Reading through feeds prevents you from being able to participate in comments as easily. Therefore, occasionally click through an article and leave a few comments. The entire community will benefit.
  12. Have fun!
    This isn’t really a tip…

If you liked this post, be sure to bookmark it on your favorite bookmarking service. I thrive on comments and readers. Thanks for reading chaotic tech!

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