Eliminating the Echo Chamber

Filed as News on August 22, 2006 3:15 pm

Chris Pirillo wrote on Friday about his 10 ways to eliminate the echo chamber. His post contained some great ideas about how to get beyond the “A List”, so to speak, and look at some fresh ideas.

I’ve read several bloggers recently who say that they’ve trimmed down their feeds to something along the lines of 75 – 100 feeds and about how much time that this has saved them. And I get that.. but they are limiting the breadth of their information flow...

I read something on the case of 1500 or so feeds right now – some are a quick scan and I move on.. others I read in some detail. Most of the story ideas here on The Blog Herald and the other places I blog come from what I see in those feeds… Reading a diverse stream of information helps to keep our content fresh and interesting.

Even TechMeme has become somewhat stale to me. Why? Because almost every time Scoble or Arrington make a post, it winds up on TechMeme. In some ways, it’s ended up becoming the same sort of echo chamber that we find amongst the so-called “A List” or bloggers.

Keeping free of the Echo Chamber means having a diverse enough set of feeds and sources of information to stay fresh – it means seeking out new content – it means recognizing the little bloggers out there.

After all, we were all a little blogger once…

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  1. By Cary posted on August 22, 2006 at 3:32 pm
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    I’m glad to see people talking about this, but I don’t think it’s at all about the size of your feed list – it’s about the breadth.

    Someone who’s blogging about blogging may well need to subscribe to 1500 feeds, but for the rest of us there’s absolutely no need to go so overboard. Subscribe to just a few of the big boys in the “blogging news” niche, and then a majority of smaller bloggers in your own niche, and you’ve pretty much got it covered.

    life’s too short to subscribe to a bunch of bloggers who are all reporting the same thing.

    Viva la littlebloggers!

    ;)

  2. By Thord Hedengren posted on August 22, 2006 at 5:57 pm
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    Subscribing to too many feeds is like having Messenger online all the time, and always answer on it. It will consume your time, mercilessly.

    Then again, if you’re serious about your work you need to stay updated. Feeds are a way faster means of doing this than visiting hundreds of bookmarked websites every day. That’s so 1998, and so time consuming.

    But yeah, review your feeds every now and then – why browse stuff you never really read? I try to keep my feed list below 200, but it’s hard.

  3. By Dimitar Vesselinov posted on August 22, 2006 at 6:15 pm
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    I subscribe to 8455 feeds…Knowledge is power…

    http://www.bloglines.com/public/divedi

  4. By Jessica Doyle posted on August 22, 2006 at 6:59 pm
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    Carry I like your idea of subscribing to a few large blogs and then your own niche blogs. It is time I began using RSS seriously. Yes, I am admitting, I do not use a specific reader. Have an account at Bloglines and will set it up today with my regular/daily reads to start.

    Thord – I don’t use any bookmarks… just my links list and memory.

    Dimitar – OMG! You are organized. Amazing.

    Matt – I emailed you at the tips email.

  5. By Martin Neumann posted on August 22, 2006 at 8:28 pm
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    I guess it’s subjective to each blogger as to how much is too much or just enough for their rss habits.

    For me (300+), enough is to get all the news in my niche I need to know and enough to give me some ideas for topics to write on so I can step out of the echo chamber on occassions.

  6. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on August 23, 2006 at 4:34 am
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    Techmeme is really an extension of our RSS feeds because it performs a similar function. If I’m writing a tech blog, I can easily find a post topic by glancing down the Techmeme list. If that list has a throughput of 1000 posts in 24 hours, we should really aggregate them with the rest of our feeds to get an accurate figure. God help us!

  7. By Jessica Doyle posted on August 24, 2006 at 2:35 am
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    What colour are your crayons Martin?

    I Think rather than niche I would call it inspiration. The blogosphere is inspiring. It moves as fas as my brain does. When there is an echo somewhere about one topic too many times it begins to feel like advertising or commercials being broadcast to me.

    Coorporations could capitalize on this by scouring the web themselves looking for any mention whether good or bad and pay the blogger whop mentioned said product, idea, service. It would definately put the blogger in control rather than the other way around. We could keep doing exactly what we are doing. The onus of worry would be on the coorporation. Hah ha the power would bve given evenly to many rather than a select few in suits behind closed doors.

    um. ; )

  8. By Mike Rundle posted on August 24, 2006 at 8:49 am
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    I continuously trim my feeds making sure I’m never above 50 at any point in time. If I add a feed it means that another feed has to be deleted and must provide at least the same value the old feed did, if not then it’s off the list.

  9. By Thord Hedengren posted on August 24, 2006 at 8:52 am
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    Mike,
    Wow, that takes some disciplin I’m sure, but I’d reckon you save a lot of time being that harsh on the poor little feeds.

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