Drowning in the Flow

I’ve posted before about trying to figure out how to manage all my RSS feeds (read the comments) . Unfortunately I don’t get paid to read them and when I get busy, they build up, making me feel like I’m missing something. They mock me, those feeds, I swear.

I really want to keep up because it makes me aware and more informed. When they build up, I just nuke the whole bunch and start from scratch. Blowing off a few days of feeds makes me feel guilty and a bit liberated at the same time. This was the case when I returned from a couple of days off recently.

One strategy that has helped is to check the feeds multiple times during the day. Since I’m a bit spastic with my online behavior anyway, it fits for me to check feeds in the 2 minutes before a conference call, for instance. I drop in and look at the new stuff and clear the backlog. Doing this helps me keep up with the flow in short bursts.

For me, this all comes down to “flow management�? – the ability to manage the constant flow of information emerging from blogs, message boards and sites like PubSub via RSS (which is rocket fuel for flow).

In the future, developing a style and strategy of managing the flow is going to be a required skill. Those who do it well may have an advantage over others by being able to extract valuable nuggets of information from a flood of feeds and notifications.

I'm keeping my head above water for now, but I've got a long way to go and I see more and more flow coming my way every day. Maybe its time to get a snorkel.