(Note: I read about this method of organization on a blog someone tweeted out several months ago, and have only recently begun to try it out. If this story sounds familiar to anyone reading, and you have a source site where you read about it before, please share it in the comments, as I truly want to give credit where credit is due. Thanks!)
A few months ago, I started using RSS feeds (aggregated through Google Reader) to subscribe to blogs and news feeds that I want to know about on a frequent basis. Prior to that time, I relied on my twitter PLN to tweet out interesting posts (which I still do, though it has its limitations). That method of relying on tweets left a lot to chance- if I happened to catch the right spot in the stream, I received all sorts of ‘goodies.’ At this point in time, however, as one colleague put it the other day, “I need information to seek out and find me, not the other way around.” Hence the RSS subscriptions.
My path in navigating this data stream has been similar to many others, I’m sure- after finding myself reading certain blogs on a frequent basis, I would decide to subscribe via RSS. Once I got up to a dozen sites or so, I would feel the urge to organize those subscriptions, and started by putting blogs together based on similar content (e.g. EdTech, SBAR, Leadership, Music, Sports, etc). While it ‘cleaned up’ my reader feed, those folders ultimately did not help me to read through the mass of information- I simply found folders full of dozens of unread posts. As the numbers of unread blogs continued to increase, I tended to put off trying to read them. (Human psychology at its best, right?) I needed a new way.
Thankfully, I ran across a blog post that has changed my RSS life. The author’s advice? Don’t organize your feeds by their content, organize them by the day of the week you will read them.
Suddenly, I have been able to get over the information paralysis. When I logged on to Google Reader this morning, I didn’t feel the need to read every post- only the ones in the Friday folder. I no longer ask myself, “What am I interested in reading?” as it’s a given that I am interested in all of it. (After all, I was the one who willfully chose to subscribe to these feeds in the first place.) Instead, I now ask the question, “What day is it?” This question is much easier to answer (most of the time). So long as I am comfortable not having seen these posts at the nanosecond of their publication (which, in all honesty, is not a concern for me), I now have a method of keeping up with the posts. What’s great is, I do still use some level of content organization on the daily feeds…now, I just happen to read them all, too!
In honor of 4/8’s #followfriday, I’ll list a few of the blogs in my “Days of the Week” folders here (along with Twitter contact info, in case you’re interested in following these brilliant folks as well). Happy reading!
- The Calculus of the Classroom by ACPS colleague Becky Fisher (@beckyfisher73)
- Elementary School Leadership by ACPS colleague Matt Landahl (@mlandahl)
- The Principal of Change by George Couros (@gcouros)
- PrincipalsPage.com by Michael Smith (@principalspage)
- A Space for Learning by ACPS superintendent Pam Moran (@pammoran)
Monday: A Mix of Perspectives Around Teaching & Learning
- A Teacher’s Wonderings by Cristina Milos (@surreallyno)
- InterACT, a collaborative blog from Accomplished California Teachers
- Molehills Out of Mountains by Jeff Delp (@azjd)
- Reflections of the TZSTeacher by ACPS colleague Paula White (@paulawhite)
- SpeEdChange from Ira Socol (@irasocol)
- Teaching Underground by ACPS colleagues Rich Lindsay & Steven Turner
Tuesday: Tech Tuesday!
- Dangerously Irrelevant by Scott McLeod
- Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne)
- Teach Paperless – various authors (@TeachPaperless)
- The Tech Savvy Educator by Ben Rimes (@techsavvyed)
- The Whiteboard Blog by Danny Nicholson (@dannynic)
- Seth Godin’s blog by Seth Godin (@thisissethsblog)
- The Heath Brothers by Chip & Dan Heath, authors of Switch and Made to Stick
- Leadership Freak by Dan Rockwell (@leadershipfreak)
- Learning & Leadership by Julie Kay (@JulieKayJKLD)
- The LIFT Blog – Shawn, Ryan, and Robert Quinn, authors of Lift (follow Ryan @ryanwquinn)
- Dan Pink – author of Drive and A Whole New Mind (follow @danielpink)
- Action-Reaction by Frank Noschese (@fnoschese)
- Always Formative by Jason Buell (@jybuell)
- Classroots.org by ACPS colleague Chad Sansing (@chadsansing)
- Continuous Everywhere But Differentiable Nowhere by Sam Shah (@samjshah)
- Crazy Teaching by Terie Engelbrecht (@mrsebiology)
- MeTA Musings by Matt Townsley (@mctownsley)
- Think Thank Thunk by Shawn Cornally (@thinkthankthunk)