Succumbing to Social Media for News Feeds

I’m throwing in the white towel.

After trying to hold out for what seems like years to my RSS reader and feeds, I’m moving most of my news sourcing to Twitter. I still subscribe to a select handful of RSS feeds1, but they’re more in the domain of personal blogs and upvote-filtered content via Reddit and Hacker News.

I’ve written about RSS consumption in the past, and how to aggressively skim articles to save time and effort. What I realized was that even such measures weren’t enough in our age of information overload; there’s too many publications competing for our attention. RSS + “Read it later” services are perfect for a completionist like myself, but I wasn’t happy with the opportunity cost of that completion in the form of other leisurely activities—like books not read.

Moving professional blogs—sites like Kotaku and The Verge—over to Twitter allows for some degree of social proofing. More importantly, however, is that they now live in same cacophony of noise along with opinions and pictures and internet memes and occasionally breaking news. Its consumption model emphasizes real-time response over historical completion, and I’m hoping that just that shift in thinking will act as another layer of skimming to save time.

That said, I still really enjoy queuing up articles to Instapaper and then reading through all of it in the evenings. I’m not ready to deny myself the satisfaction of “Article Zero” just yet.

  1. Accessed through Reeder, the best iOS/OSX RSS app available.

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