I’ve seen lots of posts lately about how people are up in arms about the recent decision by Google to retire Google Reader.
Well, I might just have an alternative for you (read on).
I used to be a big fan of Google Reader – that was until I realised it was a horribly unproductive way to discover new content.
I would have approx. 50 or so rss feeds that I would follow, which might generate 200-300 new pieces of content every day. I had convinced myself that unless I subscribed to these feeds I would miss out on something really important.
In the end I grew to loathe logging onto Google Reader and got caught in an unproductive vicious circle – it was such a drain.
I could easily waste an hour and a half a day scanning through lists of blog posts and reading the very small number which actually interested me. I probably spent 80% of my time scanning and 20% reading :(.
Enough was enough. I was wasting my time and really not enjoying the process. One day I just deleted all the feeds and never visited Google Reader again. It was liberating and probably one of the best decisions I had made for a while in respect to being productive and learning.
Twitter for Content Discovery
I now use Twitter exclusively for content discovery and it feels great. I don’t spend anywhere near as much time as I used to on content discovery, but far more time actually reading interesting content. The quality and relevance of what I am reading is also far better and spread over a wider number of sources.
There are two things I have found to be really useful in keeping content as relevant and high quality as possible when using twitter.
Firstly, only follow a select number of people who you feel write and share content that more often than not resonates with you. Following too many people just waters things down and starts to quickly feel overwhelming. I have unfollowed many friends – not because I don’t like them but just because too much of what they share isn’t relevant for me at this point in my life and serves as a distraction from what I want to read.
I have also found it important to stay on top of your followers list. If you feel like the balance is off from a quantity or quality perspective – simply unfollow that person. Don’t be afraid of missing out, just do it in the moment when you have the urge.
If you have been using Google Reader for content discovery and have been looking for a new solution, I challenge you to try using twitter for 30 days – I think you’ll find it much better.
You don’t even have to tweet – just sit back and enjoy discovering new content!
Oh and if you found this blog post useful, go ahead and retweet it using the button below and help someone else discover awesome content ;).
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