Something Sam Ruby wrote today gives me an opportunity to attempt a related point I’ve been meaning to make. Sam wrote:
If you are an online user of a single page aggregator, then what generally best suits you is a a short lead in with a link to the rest of the story should you be intrigued enough to follow it.
For me it’s just the opposite, actually. I like everything on one page: the less clicking I have to do, the better. The “everything on one page” style lets me quickly scan a post and decide whether to read it closely before deleting. Excepting mainstream media feeds, lead-ins usually don’t give me enough information to decide, and I wind up having to click anyway.
The likely objection here is that one’s aggregator page can get long. Hence we have the three-pane aggregators. These are supposed to help us manage large amounts of data by providing segregated views and a folder system. But in my hands, at least, this “scalability” encouraged bad habits. I wound up with thousands of undeleted messages in my various SharpReader folders. It was the worst aspects of email, all over again.
Try an aggregator that doesn’t scale. Like this one or this one. It will force you to work through the posts, and help you do it quickly. Don’t worry about stuff that you didn’t have time to read. Just delete it. Remember, it’s not email. The data will (probably) remain out there on the Web where you can get to it later if you really need to.