Experiment: Replacing RSS with Twitter Lists

From your 286 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 20,643 items…Since Oct 14, 2011 you have read a total of 300,000+ items.

That's pretty ridiculous, lol.

I've always been OCD about trying to read every single headline that comes my way. I've gotten pretty good about skimming through my Google Reader inbox, starring interesting articles to when I get home.

But as I'm getting deeper into my career, I've finding it harder and harder to keep up.

I think now is the time for me to let go of my must-read-everything OCD and just treat news as a "stream." As a stream, news will constantly float by and if something catches my eye, I'll Instapaper/Pinboard it.

With the inevitable end of Google Reader coming in the next couple months, I'm looking at this as an opportunity to break this habit. Here's what I'm gonna do:

  • unsubscribe from all major tech sites, including TechCrunch, Engadget, Mashable, and ArtTechnica.
  • create a "Tech" Twitter List and add all the major tech sites' Twitter accounts
  • on Tweetbot, keep three columns open: Personal Friends, Bloggers, Tech.
  • on Google Reader, only subscribe to blogs that don't update on a regular schedule.
  • on TweetDeck, have all three Twitter Lists open and have them pop up as Growl Notifications.

With this setup:

  • I'll cut back on an average of 300 RSS items per day.
  • I'll still be able to keep up with the less-active blogs.
  • with Growl Notifications and TweetDeck, I'll occasionally catch breaking tweets as they happen.
  • Any tweets I miss from Growl, I'll easily catch up on with TweetBot.
  • If news truly is breaking, people in my Bloggers Twitter List will be retweeting/talking about it anyway.

Let's see how this goes.

View @meltajon/lists

Tech I Couldn't Live Without in 2012

  • Mac mini with 1TB Fusion Drive — For a $1,100 Mac, this baby is FAST. It gives me all the performance I need to open large Photoshop files while coding sites, and plenty of space for my massive iPhoto library.

  • iPhone 4S — My iPhone is my communications hub where all of my notifications are pushed to. And the outstanding 8 megapixel camera lets me capture precious moments that I want to carry with me for the rest of my life.

  • iPad mini — For a few months, I was iPadless because I sold my first-gen iPad in anticipation of the mini. What happened? I compensated by overusing my 4S, which had a significant affect on battery life. I see my iPad mini as my primary mobile consumption device, and a way to "extend" the battery life of my iPhone.

  • Google — Chrome has the right balance of feature robustness and simplicity. Gmail is still king of email. Google Reader is an absolute must-have (I don't care if bloggers say Twitter is the new RSS). Google Voice development has been extremely stagnant for the past couple years but having web access to all of my text messages has saved my ass countless times.

  • Flipboard for iPad/iPhone — still, by far, the best way to stay up-to-date with Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Tumblr.

  • Instagram — If I had to give up all social networks except one, I would keep Instagram. It's by far the most personal social network out there because everyone post things that make them happy, unlike Twitter/Facebook where some people only use for passive-aggression, bitching and whining.

  • Tweetbot for iPad — the best Twitter app out there. For me, the killer features are cross-device placeholder syncing (i.e. Tweet Marker) and being able to retweet as a different Twitter account.

  • ProCamera for iPhone — This is my secret weapon for taking great photos. Specifically, I love how I can lock exposure and enable image stabilization with one hand for close-up shots (e.g. food, lol).

  • Facebook — Simply because all of my friends are on it. Most of my friends don't have Twitter so Facebook is still the best way for me to reach everyone in my life.

  • Pinboard — This has become a big part of my consumption workflow. When I find an interesting link on Tweetbot or Chrome, I'll save it to Pinboard, which will push to my Google Reader via RSS to read for later.

  • Instapaper — While Google Reader is my inbox, Instapaper is my "Save for Later" bin where I'll dump long articles that aren't time-sensitive. Recently, it's been filled out with a lot of How To's and Quora posts.

  • Dropbox — I always need a way to share large files across people and devices. Been a loyal user since 2006.

  • Drafts App — This summer, I retired my iOS app experiment, PostMate for iPhone. Drafts shares the same workflow as PostMate for quickly drafting and sharing text, but supports a lot more external apps/services.

  • Backblaze — online backup solution. This thing has saved my ass a few times this year.

  • Bitcasa — infinite online storage. It's still in beta but I've been dumping a TON of stuff on here. I don't put anything mission critical on here because it hasn't earned that much of my trust yet, but for now, I use it to store things like movies, TV shows, etc.

  • Imgur — Tumblr used to be a very important source of entertainment for me but I figured out that 90% of viral posts on Tumblr come from Imgur. Now I just go straight to the source.

Honorable Mentions: ForkLift for Mac, DayOne, Slingbox, Siri, iTunes Match, Skype

Heating Up for 2013: 1Password, Pinterest, App.Net, New Myspace, GitHub

Cooling Down: Tumblr, Trillian, Voxer

Dismissed: Path, because none of my actual close friends are on it.