Eliminating Feed Noise

Last month I did a major overhaul of my feed reader’s subscriptions. I was tired of the repeated content and stories I was seeing across tech feeds. Whenever a company had an announcement or bit of news, every single publication I followed would release a write-up.

I resolved to trim my tech feedss down to no more than 5 as part of an overall RSS pruning. Here were the criteria that I used to determine which feeds to keep:

  • I find myself gravitating towards that feed’s stories in general
  • Engaging editorial perspective
  • Provides a broad overview of relevant industry content
  • Provides actionable information
  • Professional (not gossip-y)
  • Does more than simply replay the same press releases out there

For tech news, this generally meant clearing out all of the personality-driven blogs: TechCrunch, Scobleizer, GigaOM, Silicon Alley Insider, Valleywag, etc. They’re all gone. The sacrifice is that I’m not totally up to date on the latest rounds of fundings of all the bay area start ups. I don’t know what the new feature is coming out of kyte.tv as soon as everyone else does, and I don’t have to sift through piles and piles and piles of unsubstantiated hear-say and gossip to find some relevant kernel of information.

For tech news I now just follow these sites:

  • TechMeme – it gives me a quality broad overview of what’s going on in the tech industry and pulls in the best of the sites that I dropped from my feed list
  • Wired – Quality original content alongside good coverage of major industry events
  • Ars Technica – There’s a lot of bloat in this publication, but I have to keep it around for its quality coverage of privacy, security, and innovation in tech.
  • ReadWriteWeb – The best, IMO, of the Web 2.0 coverage sites. I learn about new tools and their usefulness to me. This is contrary to TechCrunch which generally seems more concerned with the personalities and business implications of any new application released on-line. Plus RWW has more intelligent commentary than Arrington’s blathering.
  • Slashdot – Simply because I continue to learn interesting things from this site that I generally don’t find anywhere else.

There are some other publications that I’ve enjoyed for years which didn’t make the cut. The Register is one. There’s just TOO much content coming through on their main feed. It’s too much noise.

If you had only five tech feeds you needed to follow, what would they be and why?

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