My Information Consumption Now Driven By Companies And People, Not Just Feeds

While I still worry about the health of RSS, I feel like my overall information consumption has significantly evolved in some very meaningful ways since Google decided to shut down Google Reader. A year before the shutdown of Google Reader, I had developed my own curation and monitoring system, which included the ability to pull RSS feeds, so I was already decommissioning Google Reader before it was officially abandoned.

In my monitoring system I can add three types of entries:

  • Entities - Business, organizations, government agencies or any other non-human entity.
  • Individuals - Basically my individual CRM system for everyone I know, and don’t know.
  • Feeds - Other generic feeds from some forums, streams, etc.

For each of these entries I pull the following streams of information:

  • Blog - The RSS streams from company and individual blogs, providing a pretty key signal about companies, and individuals doing cool stuff with APIs.
  • Twitter - The tweets, DMs, and links produce as part of a companies or media individuals social exhaust that is produced via Twitter.
  • Github - The repositories, commits, and interactions around public repositories maintained by individuals and companies.
  • Email - I’m still working on the best way to process email communications with companies and individuals, while also considering parsing email newsletter to balance out the shift from RSS to email blasts by startups.

If a company or individual has a blog, Twitter or Github account I pull any publicly available signals. I use these signals to stay informed using the blog posts, valuable conversations and links available on Twitter, and keep up to date with the latest API tech and code being developed on Github.

When I’m introduced to a new company or individual, I make sure they are entered into my system, giving me a more complete perspective across their world via their blog, Twitter, and Github accounts. I’ve realized that this approach has evolved my information consumption from being about feeds, to more about companies, the individuals who work at them, and the technology that is being developed.

I feel like this evolution is giving me a more clearer picture of the API space, beyond what just RSS could do.