As bloggers, writers, journalists, and other Google Reader users search for a solution to the disappearance of Google’s ubiquitous feed tool, one of the most popular alternatives is the NewsBlur service. Offering web, iOS, and Android portals to one’s feeds, NewsBlur provides a clean interface and supports quick keyboard navigation for power users.
Another neat feature of NewsBlur is that you can “train” the software about which topics, authors, and feeds are of most (or least) interest. Power RSS users often subscribe to hundreds of feeds… in my case I have subscriptions that include:
- individuals’ personal websites/blogs
- news websites (both general news and niche news)
- company blogs for products or services I use
- blogs and websites of my competitors
The list goes on… while I subscribe to all of these feeds, some are of more importance than others. RSS is not email; it’s not critical that every item be read in a timely manner (or at all). Some topics are of more importance however. NewsBlur allows a user to indicate which tags, categories, authors, or keywords are more or less important, and it provides an interface such that if I’m quickly dipping into my feeds, I can easily view only those items that match my “most important” indicators.
Your Untagged, Uncategorized Content is Going to be Overlooked
What I’ve discovered since I’ve started tagging is that there are a lot of folks leaving tons of posts as “Uncategorized” and there are quite a few content management systems that aren’t serving up categories or tags at all. This means that I’m not going to see these items and feeds if I’m using NewsBlur’s priority system to view my feeds. If, for example, I’ve told NewsBlur that I want to prioritize things in a WordPress category, or tagged as having to do with Flickr, your unmarked content won’t be caught.
Help me to indicate I might want your content. Categorize and tag appropriately.