A new toy

It’s no secret that I have loved Bloglines for a long time. I’ve been a vocal supporter of the service they provide and have convinced more than a few people of the virtues of not only a feed reader, but an excellent feed reader like Bloglines.

Recently, I’ve been having issues with Bloglines. Feeds that are frequently updated were showing up with no updates, the number of updates of other feeds weren’t consitent with the site, things like that. So I decided to give Google’s feed reader, “Google Reader” a try. Now I’m torn. The more I use Google Reader, the more enamored I become with it. It may just be the effect of being “the new shiny thing,” but I’m really liking it. Both sites basically do the same thing (and do it well), but for some reason, Google’s offering seems better to me. It seems a little more streamlined, less cluttered and it has a better way to save interesting posts. Not sure which one I’ll stick with, but for now, I’m really enjoying Google’s toy.

There’s no point to this post, as I know plenty of you guys are already using Google Reader to follow Buttonmashing, but I just wanted to let everyone know I have a new love. Bloglines will always have a place in my RSS-reading heart, but Google Reader is moving in on its turf.

I am free!!

I'm freeI was in need of help. I had subscribed to every RSS feed I found – blogs, news sites, Yahoo Search results. You name it, I subscribed to it. I suffered under an avalanche of new posts/items on a daily basis. I had close to 300 subscribed feeds. It was out of hand. But I couldn’t resist! I read them religiously, afraid that I’d miss something. Most of the time, it wasn’t even enjoyable — I was looking for “material” to blog about. A post here or there that others might have missed would be my next “big post.” But I realized my posting activity (and just about all other activity) was suffering because I was too busy “cleaning out my unreads.” I was so worried I’d miss something that I was simply spinning my wheels. So I decided to whittle down those feeds, to unshackle myself from Bloglines.

I’ve completed my first pass through, removing a lot of feeds (junk and otherwise) and I’ve worked it down to about 130 feeds. Another pass could get me under 100 feeds. It wasn’t easy. Even as I was removing them from my list, I wondered what I’d miss after they were gone. I took out a couple big ones (Digg and Engadget) but I figured if there was something of value there, someone else would pick it up. I just couldn’t keep up with everything that was getting posted. If every feed averaged 3 posts a day, that was close to 1,000 new items a day. It was a lot more than that. That’s simply too much.

After I worked out of that funk, I turned my attention to my collection of unplayed games.

I came to the realization that I simply won’t get to every game I currently have. Games like Viewtiful Joe 2 and Metal Gear: The Twin Snakes sit on my shelf, unplayed, while I spend my third week with Dead Rising. I know that I’m missing out on some great gaming, but I just can’t do it all. With next generation upon us and the excellent DS library growing, I simply can’t get to everything. I still couldn’t bring myself to do something about it. Just like my stack of feeds, I was afraid I’d miss something. With more demands on my free time (real job, kids, golfing) I simply can’t can’t get to it all. I’m not a 40-hour gamer anymore.

So while I used to operate under the delusion that some day I’d get to it all, I realize it’s simply not doable. And worrying about it didn’t do any good. In fact, it probably made procrastinating even easier. So after deciding to cull my “daily reading,” I will also take a hard look at my library. I’m not sure what I’ll do with some of my games that I have yet to play, but I no longer look at them, there on the shelf, and feel guilty. I don’t know if my “Queue” of games will ever exist. I don’t need to feel like I have to play them all. Some I’ll get to, at some time, but others will probably never be played. They’ve got to go.

A weight has been lifted. And I feel free!

Bloglines purge

I’ve been going through my Bloglines subscriptions and have purged it of 100+ feeds. I removed a lot of gaming blogs that were either not being regularly updated or simply didn’t have the content I was looking for. I noticed that a lot of the stuff these blogs were posting was simply regurgitated news bits that I could find elsewhere (Kotaku and Joystiq). I was looking for more from gaming blogs. These guys didn’t make the cut. It’s not that they were bad, it just wasn’t what I was looking for.

That being said, I’ve already been replenishing my feeds with new bloggers that, if you’re not reading already, I suggest you check them out. They include:

Matt Brett, who has done a little bit of everything including playing video games, of course. Really like his

Amber Night is a blogger who falls into the category of both gamer and game designer. Always a thoughtful read.

A group of guys from uber game-news site Evil Avatar have started Toy Bane, which is a great read as well.

I’ve been reading it for a while, but in case you aren’t, Michael Zenke’s MMOG Nation is a great place for MMO commentary. (That’s Zonk from Slashdot Games, but you already knew that)

I also had a hiccup with Damned Machines feed, it wasn’t getting updated and I thought they had gone AWOL. Glad to see there still blogging with their razor sharp (jaded?) wit.

There has also been a return of a couple bloggers whose return has made me happy. Both Adam LaMosca and Jeff Freeman are back in the game. Glad to have you back.

Lots of good stuff out there for your consumption.

Related Posts:
I Heart Bloglines
New Kids on the Block (#1)
New Kids on my Block (#2)
New Kids on my Block, Part #3 (BlogExplosion-style)
I still Heart Bloglines

I still heart Bloglines

If I’d actually been paying attention to the Blogline News feed, I would have known about this sooner, but Bloglines has been slowly adding features. Elliott mentioned that the icons had received a face lift and as I was editing my subscriptions tonight, I noticed they had implemented drag and drop with their folders. A nice touch. There haven’t been a ton of enhancements on the outside, but for a free service, Bloglines is still my RSS feed reader of choice. I’m in the progress of pruning my subscriptions, there’s just too many to keep track of. The drag and drop and other features are quite helpful.

On the topic of feeds, I’ve updated my Feedburner feed to also integrate my del.icio.us bookmarks (which currently aren’t many) and my newly opened Buttonmashing Flickr account. You can grab the feed here:

Click here if you want to import it directly into Bloglines:
Subscribe in Bloglines

Bloglines quirk?

I seem to have an issue with Bloglines and the two Weblogs, Inc. feeds I subscribe to (Joystiq and Engadget). Every item in their feeds is repeated three or four times. Has anyone else who’s subscribed to their feeds notice this? Is it from the ads they insert into th feed? It’s getting a little frustrating. I really enjoy reading both blogs but it’s almost to the point where it’s not worth it.

Is this a Bloglines issue or a feed isssue?