4829.3 Posts! Low-Information Diet = Quality Control

I follow 4829.3 posts per week from 32 blogs.

No, I don’t read all of them. In fact I read very few of them. My goal is to reduce the number of blogs I follow and increase the quality of the content I consume.

Using Google Reader has made it easy to track what I’ve read, what I like, and what I want to share with colleagues or friends. I can catch up with Tim Ferris’ blog on the bus and when I get back to my desk I know which articles I skipped and which ones I starred for further review. But tracking almost 5000 posts per week is impossible. Especially when I have deadlines.

To get these numbers and make a plan to prune the feed list I recorded some statistics.

I follow 32 blogs in 8 categories (Tech, Seattle, P2P, Social Media, Life, Games and Fun). Of those 32 blogs, Google Reader estimates 4829.3 posts per week. I estimated that I actually read 15 of those blogs on a monthly basis. That’s about 47%. The rest are either ignored or I only scan the headlines and never expand the article.

To narrow things down even further I compared posts per week to total subscribers. The most popular blog was Engadget with 1,116,958 subscribers. The most active blog was Seattle Times with 2330.5 posts per week! I am not that interested in local news to keep up with that kind of coverage. But on further inspection it became clear that I didn’t need to.

The majority of the Seattle Times’ posts are duplicates, typo corrections, or deleted pages. Apparently they don’t have a quality control process before the RSS feed gets updated. Or they assume that most feed readers are too slow to notice a quick update.

My mission has been to prune this list down to only the most essential news and entertainment outlets. My measurement of success will be reading over 80% of the blogs I follow at least once a month.

Updates coming soon! Until then, here’s the raw data: