There are times when your usual RSS routine is just too much. You have discovered new blogs you want to follow and before you know it you have more than 200 items waiting for you. Your system to catch up with the latest news in your niche is a disaster.
See my RSS inbox for instance. I’m subscribed to tech sites and personal blogs of authors I respect. There’s everything there from Apple rumours, tech products, link blogs, instructional pieces to the meatier reviews that you really want to save to read later hoping you have the time to read them one day. That’s already a lot. In the week of the launch of the Apple Watch this system will collapse. There is such a saturation that you end up reading different people all talking about the same things. I’m saying Apple Watch but this is applicable to CES, SXSW and other events that take over your RSS without asking.
The most frequent reaction here would be to unsubscribe. Remove that feed! If you don’t like something you read, well, you won’t like what’s coming next. That’s a very destructive approach. Depending on the RSS service you use you may will able to filter the content you get and you don’t need to unsubscribe to the sites you love that just happened to post more than usual. Let’s leave your RSS subscriptions as they are and look at some other ways to filter that content.
What's on Nuzzel?
The first tool is not really filtering but does the trick with incredible results. Have you heard about Nuzzel? This app / web service looks at your Twitter timeline and collects the most popular content shared by the people you follow. The most popular article right now on my list comes from MacRumors about the keyboard in iOS 8.3 beta and was tweeted by seven users I follow. You get a nice preview and the actual tweets with any commentary for context.
I’m subscribed to MacRumors so I know this post about the iPhone keyboard in iOS 8.3 beta is somewhere in my RSS list. The beauty of Nuzzel is that it’s telling me that people are talking about this post on Twitter so I can join the conversation without feeling I’m missing other important posts on that channel. This works for me because the accounts I follow and my RSS do overlap — or at least I follow people with similar interests. If this is not your case or just want to discover new content, Nuzzel gives you the option to see what’s popular among ‘friends of friends’, discover links ‘you may have missed’ or find the most recent.
While Nuzzel is great to give you something interesting to read, you may want to be able to choose your sources. Something more targeted. A great option to keep on top just a few sites is Robocat’s new app Breaking. Available both on iOS and Mac, Breaking puts the most recent articles published on a RSS feed right on your Today view. The app is really simple and you don’t import any account or sync with other services — just search the name of the site you want or paste the URL and it’s done.
Although I’m not a big fan of widgets in iOS, I’m even less of a fan of changing RSS apps. Getting updates on the lock screen feels like something different, like a friend texting you. To get the latest of one or two sites when the rest of your RSS subscriptions are posting too much, Breaking is the way to go.
FILTER THEM OUT
The last option requires more work but it’s not complicated at all. If you don’t want to hear about a particular topic that keeps appearing you may want to filter out that content. Feed Wrangler gives you the option to create filters and them marking them as read automatically.
You can find this on the Manage Filters section → Create New Filter. The instructions provided are clear but you can find more about managing your smart streams you need to keep your feeds under control.