The case for continuing to subscribe to blogs which don’t update frequently and regularly

RSS leaves

It’s common knowledge in SEO circles that not posting frequently and regularly will decrease your blog page rank and probably lead to a drop in RSS feed subscribers. What I don’t accept is the advice I’ve occasionally read on some blogs that if you’re suffering from feed overload and looking to prune back your RSS subscriptions, you should unsubscribe from blogs which don’t update frequently and regularly.

As I see it, the most important consideration in unsubscribing should be content. If a blog is offering interesting fresh content, even if on an irregular basis, I would keep my subscription. Having said that, if the blog is clearly stagnating with no posts for the previous 3 or 4 months, I might just drop it, unless the blogger has posted good reasons for taking a break.

Lighten the load

When you think about it, cutting back on blogs which update only occasionally isn’t going to have much effect on your blog overload. What you should be aiming to do is cut the blogs whose content isn’t interesting to you anymore, or the blogs which are pushing out poor content just to achieve a daily post target. In addition, in the tech space there are quite a few blogs which just reblog tech news and press releases. You don’t need this duplication so cut out a few of these. All these are the culprits in overloading your blog feed.

Spare a thought for the blogger

If you’re blogging in your spare time and aren’t a full-time blogger, it certainly isn’t easy to push out good fresh content on a daily basis. I blog in my spare time and put out posts when I can. And good unique blog ideas don’t come daily. In addition, the research which goes into make a good post may take a couple of days in your spare time. I only manage to post at most 3 times a week, but it can be as little as once a fortnight. So far I haven’t put adverts on my blog so I get no monetary reward for blogging. I do it for the enjoyment. So don’t penalize the part-time or occasional blogger who hasn’t taken the step to full-time blogging or perhaps just doesn’t want to.

And if you are a full-time blogger, take a few days off now and again to recharge. You’ll almost certainly return with fresher content and have developed a few ideas in the meantime.

Content is king

This should be the main focus on whether to unsubscribe from a blog feed. If a blogger is pushing out good fresh content which is of interest to you, keep subscribing even if they do post on an irregular basis. And if you do like a post, try and thank them in the blog comments or share their post in your social network. It may be the only reward they get for their efforts.

Update (11th September 2010): Here’s an interesting blog post backing up the premise that less is more and that it’s quality that counts: Why posting less can improve your blog

The case for continuing to subscribe to blogs which don’t update frequently and regularly is a post from Tech and Life. If you’re reading it in full elsewhere, it’s been copied without consent. Please go to Tech and Life to read the original post and many others in the archive.

2 Responses

  1. Evan @40Tech Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, especially with your observation that unsubscribing to infrequently updated blogs isn’t going to help you get your reading under control. I found I couldn’t keep up with my RSS feeds, so I did just the opposite and unsubscribed to blogs that had frequent updates. I picked those that I found myself to be skipping over, or that echoed content from other sources, so I wasn’t reading the same stuff twice.

  2. Eddie Says:

    Tech and life comment

    This is an interesting topic worth discussing. Thanks for bringing it up. I think that people who utilize RSS go through these stages:

    1. Wow, this is awesome. I’m going to subscribe to every page with an RSS icon, starting with the shovel blogs and major news sites.

    2. Okay, I need to get this under control. I need a sophisticated tagging taxonomy so that I can see my new content by category.

    3. I’m spending way too much time on this. I’m reading RSS all day. Even if I miss a few days, my RSS reader explodes and i have to blow off my social life to catch up.

    4. I need to start unsubscribing. I’m seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over. I just saw that Apple surpassed Microsoft in market share 10 times in 8 different feeds.

    5. Ok, this is under control. It’s not everything. It’s just another thing, another tool in my belt for staying informed. And if I miss things, life goes on.

    As for unsubscribing from blogs that aren’t updated regularly, that in itself isn’t a reason to unsubscribe. In fact, the beauty of RSS is that it makes update frequency less relevant. I think of it as Tivo for the blogosphere. It’s also Iike one-way email. It comes to me when its ready so I don’t have to constantly go to it.

    The key is finding a tool that makes services like Google Reader better. My favorite is Reeder for the iPad. I never see feeds unless they have new content. So dormant feeds don’t form clutter like they do in the Google Reader web interface.

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