Feeding Our Reading Habits

I’ve just finished reading Feeding Our Reading Habits, a short ebook by Alex Kessinger which delves into the future of RSS1.

I think it would be of interest to a fairly broad range of people: those who have no idea what RSS is and why they’d be interested in a feed reader, all the way to those who’re conversant with it but interested in where the technology is going.

I think he does a good job, in particular, of explaining something that’s one of the main reasons I use a feed reader:

Alex Kessinger:

I was finding choice links by following people who were good at finding them before I even knew what curation was. Often the reason I had great stuff to read was because someone dug up a good link. One of my favorites is Jason Kottke. He spent almost a decade, unpaid, learning how to find good stuff online. He found the crap that everyone was going to be talking about. For many, this is where the process stopped; at reading. Good stuff from Kottke, and you were done, but I wanted more. I wanted to know where he got his stuff. I wanted to be on the other side of his filter. This is when you start to wade through the crap.

It’s not that I don’t trust other people to highlight good content for me to read, it’s just that I have a better idea of what I’ll enjoy reading than they do. Maybe in my own ‘umble way I might even share the occasional interesting piece of content with those who are gracious enough to read what I have to say.

Who knows. Arch wink towards the peanut gallery, etc.

Of course, in order to get at the meat of the really good stuff from a lot of sources you need to have a pretty good system for quickly popping out that quality content from a fast-flowing, dense stream. Kessinger’s section on Triage is a good example of a system that lets him do that. I have a similar system in place.

  1. Especially as it relates to reading — a fairly subtle distinction, maybe.