Monday, January 9, 2012

My #SixSunday RSS Feed Experiment

I try to simplify what I can. I also very much appreciate when people visit my blog and comment on my work. I believe in reciprocating, so when I post on Six Sentence Sunday, I have every intention of reading every single post. I comment. I share on Facebook and Twitter. I do my very best to interactive member of the community. The problem is...there are routinely 160+ posts on any given Sunday. That, my friends, is over a 1000 sentences. If each sentence has only three words...subject, predicate, direct object, we're talking 3000 words. That's a respectable short story. And certainly anyone can make time for a short story on Sunday, but...every one of these authors have educations higher than first grade.

That aside, there's all that clicking, (some of these sights have adult content warnings, which is an additional click), and the back-buttoning. The reads are enjoyable, but the process of accessing all 168...I'm not married to it.

Fortunately, where there is RSS, there is a way out. Mine is called Reeder. (Click the photos below to view them larger.)

I woke up Sunday to 78 SSS posts to scroll through!
I spent a good deal of time last week subscribing to every working RSS feed for sites posted in the Six Sentence Sunday Linky Tool. (To give me a head start, I started collecting them on Tuesday night, so when I say it took days, you know what I mean.) Whenever the blogs are updated, the posts show up in my Reeder feed!

But, do I really want to do that every week? Not everyone posts every week. New people are joining, too. I'm going to miss stuff, right? Oh...I got that one figured out too.

On Saturday, I copied the Six Sunday Linky tool table, before it was replaced by the official list, and pasted it into Excel. (I did this before, not after, because sometimes the hyperlinks are removed before the official post. For instance, when a snippet contains more than six mine did yesterday.) It's likely that a post will still go up on Sunday, like mine did. And just like I want people to still read my snippet even though I can't count to six, I still want to read what other people are posting! So...spreadsheet uses the before list, not after. I did some work with the data and got a nice, one column, alphabetized list of author blogs for the week. Next week, when the Linky Tool is closed, I can copy the new list and remove the duplicate me just the new names that I can then add them to Reeder*.

Also, I added all of the RSS feeds to one folder called Six Sentence Sunday, so that I can ignore my other feed folders and focus just on SSS posts. Reeder is installed on my iPhone, my iPad, and my laptop, so...I have access to posts, as well as everything else the writers are posting, literally everywhere I go. Morning commute, lunch breaks, doctors' offices, restaurants, the get my point. I'm not tied to my computer to get them all read!

I can navigate Jo Ramsey's blog from right here!
But, what about commenting? If I'm just reading the posts in Reeder, then I can't leave comments, right? I'll have to go to my web browser and go through the hassle of actually surfing the web anyway! Not at all. By clicking on the title of the post, Reeder loads the blog in the main window. I can comment, then click on the next post in the list and Reeder loads the post.

ITTT is a BIG button web automation tool!
I also use a site called If This, Then That to post my favorite blog posts to Twitter and my Facebook page. All I have to do is click a star icon, and at designated intervals, my favorites go up, complete with title, author, and link.

I'll find out this Saturday how successful the Excel step is with identifying the new feeds to subscribe to, but I can far, I'm very happy with Reeder and If This Then That.

*Reeder is for Mac only. If you're a PC user, look for RSS feeds that will synch with Google reader and have apps for your mobile devices!


  1. I'm interested to hear how it works out for you. I like the idea of putting the feeds into one folder. I'm going to see if I can do that with the feeds I follow. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for signing up to do the Valentine's day blog hop! I look forward to reading your scene :)

  3. You're very ambitious! I know what you mean about wanting to comment and get feedback, so here I am, saying in print that I like what you're trying to do! You're much more web-savvy than I am, for sure. :)

  4. Very cool, Wendy! I'm going to have to try something like that. Often I just don't have the time to read all those posts, click by click, and your idea seems like a great time-saver.

  5. Hey, thanks for commenting on my adverb post! You mentioned some things I didn't in the interest of brevity, and besides, I wanted to know what you think.

    As for your post, did you know the GFC widget also creates an RSS feed? A lot of bloggers don't know that. I use google reader on my igoogle homepage, and without ever having subscribed to single RSS feed unless it was the only following method offered. Igoogle lets me see small windows on my homepage, one email, one my blog reading list, and whatever else I want, like weather. I click on anything I want to read closer, and a new tab opens. It's a great time-saver. I didn't know about the folders option. Now I'll have to try that. Thanks!