17 August 2011

RSS for your OCD

Welcome to a special young adult edition of "What's In My Google Reader?" Fighting Reader bloat is one of the toughest things to do. Seriously, this would have been the eleventh labour of Hercules if the Internet was around back then. It's like combatting the damned hydra because when you delete one RSS, two more pop up to take its place.

I follow a lot of feeds and when that number starts to get unmanageable, I undertake a thorough cleaning. A year ago I re-organized and "trimmed" my feeds down to 587 by using Patrick Rhone's system. Exactly twelve months later I re-did it because I had somehow bloated back up to 800+. During this round of cleaning, I re-configured my feeds structure to better follow my young adult blogs.

Previously I tossed every YA related blog into my Reader but it got to be too much and I wasn't reading most of them. Now I've pared them down to the bare essentials and will be a lot more discerning about what makes it into the rotation. Rhone recently posted about an even simpler RSS system he's using and I'm going with the simple important/unimportant philosophy behind it.

Below are the folders I've laid out, with the accompanying number of blogs contained within.

Stars (15): My must-reads that include things everyone else reads and items from sources that I absolutely don't want to miss. Elizabeth Bird's Fuse #8, 100 Scope Notes, Kidlit, Diversity in YA, and Teen Writers Bloc, just to name a few.

Authors (15): Blogs of authors I either want to keep up with or they just have highly entertaining posts. This section got culled the most as I wanted to keep up with everyone but do you know how many YA authors are out there?!

Debs (40): All the individual blogs for my 2009 Debutantes group, including a few 2010-11 Debs that I've met or have been following. Having all the Debs in a separate folder makes it much easier to keep up with everyone.

Blogs (20): All the YA blogs that I've been following, many for a few years now. Story Siren, Chick Lit Teens, Pop Culture Junkie, Ten Cent Notes, YA Highway, Book Muncher, Presenting Lenore, etc.

Asian (15): Since I have a special interest in any Asian-American authors who pop up in the young adult world, I keep this folder to stalk them all. Right now there's only about a dozen authors in this folder. There has to be more of us! This also includes some blogs that are dedicated to highlighting POC books, like the Happy Nappy Bookseller.

Temporary (5): Everything new goes into this folder so I can check it out for awhile before figuring out whether to keep it or not.
So that's it. My young adult RSS feeds. I'm going to highlight some of my favorite blogs over the coming weeks and keep you updated on which new ones I'm following. Keeping up with people's blogs can be a huge time suck but there's no better way to get a feel for the community and discussion.

If you're overwhelmed by all that's out there, may I suggest you start with my Stars list, located here in a handy dandy Google Reader bundle so you can subscribe with just one click. Cutting down on the number of feeds I'm following makes me feel better because now I can lavish my attention on the few, even though there are many hundreds of deserving blogs out there.