Mark All As Read . . .

Finally . . . A Ray of Hope for my Reading List:)


I subscribe to around 65 blogs on leadership, learning, communication, thinking, and a few other odd topics through Google Reader.  In addition to that group, I also have email subscriptions to probably 20 or 30 more blogs on roughly the same subjects.  I add as many as 2 to 3 subscriptions every week.

I like to be informed . . .  well informed . . .  in many areas.

However, I also like to sleep, watch quality television, have an occasional quiet meal with my wife, play with the grandkids, and just hang out. 

These  two things can sometimes be counter-active.  Maybe you have experienced this dark side of our online world.  So much is available that we have no excuse for not knowing much . . . except that life is not JUST about knowing, sometimes it’s about doing and feeling, too.

So Google has given my this great function.  I can scan the list of blog titles for each folder and, if I see nothing that catches my eye, then ZAP!    Problem solved.

“Mark All As Read” is like a magic pill – you feel better instantly upon taking one.


However, I do see two “small” issues with my new best friend:

1)  Deciding based on a title alone can result in missing good stuff.

I sometimes inadvertently subscribe to the same blog both in Google Reader and through my email.  In my email system, I am more likely to scan the blog post before deleting, and not go just by the title of the post.  On occasion, I have been pleasantly surprised by content that I had already deleted from Google Reader. 

Sometimes we miss the good stuff by being efficient.

2)  What is the real goal here?

Is the problem that I need something to help me get through the massive amount of mostly useful and interesting information in all my subscriptions or am I dodging a much more important question.

Do I really need to follow every person who catches my attention in a number of somewhat distinct areas?  Now we have to discuss the relative value of specialization versus broad competency.   

Sometimes we miss the important stuff by being thorough.

Maybe that “Ray of Hope” was just Spring trying to shine through in the Heartland . . .