Once upon a time I read every post to every blog I subscribed to in my aggregator. After recognizing that I didn’t have time to read them all and not all posts are pertinent to my life or even interesting, I now just scan the subjects of the blog posts downloaded to my aggregator and choose which ones to read. This strategy assumes the blog writer chooses a good subject name for a post and I will recognize that it is of interest to me.
David St Lawrence discusses the problem:
I am really grateful for my visitors, especially those who take the time to leave comments, but I will readily understand if I don’t see you as often as before. There is this incredibly interesting blogosphere out there and only so many minutes we can spend online.
David Weinberger is even more explicit:
I don’t want to lie any more. I don’t want to feel guilty any more. So let me tell you flat out: There are too many blogs I like and too many people I like to making "keeping up" a reasonable expectation…. I will read your blog on occasion, either because I’ve been thinking of you or because something reminded me of you…. But I hereby release you from thinking I expect you to keep up with my blog, and I preemptively release myself from your expectations.
Here’s my proposed solution. I would like to be able to subscribe to specific categories of a blog. This would increase the specificity of the posts my aggregator downloads and reduce the burden on servers.
For example, two of the categories of this personal blog (Myke’s Weblog) are golf and herding cats. I have noticed that there’s not much overlap between people who really like golf and cat lovers. In my solution, golfers would be able to subcribe to the golf category on my blog and cat people could subscribe to herding cats. It is specific, targeted, and efficient.