One Way to Speed Up Your Feed Reading

One Way to Speed Up Your Feed Reading


Image by eristoddle via Flickr

A feed reader is supposed to speed things up. You don’t have to visit the blog to read what’s been published.

That’s how mine started and somehow I have managed to collect over 2000 feeds which I have categorized along the way:

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate
  • Blogging
  • Design
  • Developer
  • Forums
  • Internet Marketing and Make Money
  • Money (finance)
  • Productivity and Freelance
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Tech
  • Thinkers
  • Upcoming and Memes
  • Wordpress
  • Writing

Didn’t mean to do this. It just sort of happened that way. It is impossible to read 2000 feeds. No matter which feed reader I use, it’s click, wait while the reader semi-locks-up and then read. So here is what I did:

Step 1: Export each category as a separate OPML file.

An OPML file is a collection of rss feeds that can be imported and exported from a feed reader. Since I had the feeds already in folders, I created topic specific OPML files.

Step 2: Import each OPML file into a separate feed at FeedHub.

Feedhub is a damn good service that will take an OPML file and turn it into one feed. I have one Feedhub feed that have 750 feeds in it. When it comes out, it’s one feed. It seems to be unlimited both in the amount of custom feeds you can build and the amount of feeds you can put in one custom feed.

Yes, you could skip this step and move on to the next, but by running the feeds through Feedhub you get a bit of filtering and it learns what you like over time.

Step 3: Put the feeds on Netvibes.

Image representing Netvibes as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

I believe that when two services do about the same job, like NetVibes and iGoogle, something as simple as the font size, color scheme or layout of the default theme can swing a decision. That may be what happened here. You could actually use any type of start page system that will display feed widgets. Netvibes just had the right vibe.

Not a useful hack for everyone but if you end up trying to single-handedly index the blogosphere, it may help. And it doesn’t take too long to set up. I did it while I wrote this post. I need to organize them more effectively and some of the feeds may have very few entries because they are new, but you can see the initial results here.

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Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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