My style of news consumption has changed a bit as of late. Twitter has been a bit ‘off’ for me for the past year or so. I have a few rules with Twitter:
1.) Never go off the timeline. Don’t willingly wade into the mire.
2.) Be liberal with unfollowing/blocking/muting.
3.) Use the ‘muted words’ option - it is your weapon against ‘what are we mad at today?’ type stuff.
Even using these rules over the past year, Twitter is sometimes reaching upwards of 15-20% garbage for me. Part of it is Twitter showing the likes of people I follow. Not a single person I have ever conversed with about Twitter enjoys that feature. Just get rid of it. I think in a few years that “feature” may be the looked upon as the start of the downfall.
That being said, Twitter is still handy as a channel for finding interesting things. So I have come up with a solution that cuts away most of that 20%, and it involves just good old RSS.
Here is the summary of how I am doing most of my news consumption over coffee in the mornings. Most of this is kludged together via a Feedbin account:
Ignore collective/non-breathing Twitter accounts. Anytime I want to follow a website, first look for an RSS feed. If they don’t have an RSS feed, then fuck’em.
Feedbin has a neat option to allow for just showing tweets that contain a link on your news list. To subscribe to people using this method via Feedbin, turn on ‘link only’ (Subscription Options → Twitter options → Media Only) for those that post interesting links.
Move all mail list subs to Feedbin via their account email proxy. This is an excellent and underlooked feature of Feedbin. Look under ‘Settings → Newsletter Address’ and resub to all your mailing lists and have each email come in as a feed element.
Monitor the sparklines on your subs and don’t be afraid to drop people. Blogs get stale (hey look at this one!). If someone starts reposting in the future, you will eventually come across it again.