Anyone who has regularly uses sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader will find that clutter builds up fast. Unless you are regularly weeding your subscription/friends/follows or have an exceptional amount of resolve in resisting the urge to subscribe/friend/follow, you will soon find your feeds being overwhelmingly large.
I’ve been using Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader for a fair amount of time. I have diverse interests and have been reading and viewing a lot of things through these sites. A few days ago, I found that I now have subscriptions on each of these sites in the range of 250-400. I’ve found it causes too much noise.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve attempted to declutter these sites to some extent by removing subscriptions I am not interested in.
My strategy in this was, rather than going through lists of subscriptions and looking at them to sort between keepers and non-keepers, I went to the actual content feeds of those sites and looked at the content to see what content I didn’t want. Then I weighed both the volume of content and also the level of interest in the subscription in the abstract. Of course some subscriptions with generally uninteresting content are in some sense abstractly interesting (ie. a person you are otherwise close with)
The advantage to this approach is that it focused my effort.. Rather than spending hours removing subscriptions that generate next to no clutter, it took me right to the very subscriptions that are most noisy, and then I attempted to determine what noise I can tolerate and what noise is useful. I did end up removing some non-noisy subscriptions, but my focus was on the ones generating noise.
With this method, I removed 12% of the accounts I follow in Twitter. And 5% of my Facebook friends. And 10% of my Google Reader feeds. While these reductions are relatively minor, I believe they will result in an even bigger percentage representation on my content feed. It’s a start at least!