Take a quick glance at this snapshot of my Google Reader feed list. It’s my “Shopping Deals” folder. If you look closely you’ll notice I’ve all but abandoned reading all the other sites except one: Slickdeals. All the other shopping sites have over 100+ unread entries (Lord knows what the number really is). I’m really tempted to just unsubscribe from them altogether.
I’m gonna take a stab at an unwritten rule for RSS and information syndication:
The perceived importance and value of entries to readers is inversely proportional to the frequency of entries on any given day.
In other words, the more you post, the less I’m gonna care about any given post. I’ve only got a small, finite amount of “attention capital” to spend. I’d rather see bigger, more valuable posts than “penny posts.”
Slickdeals still matters to me because implicit in the spareness of their postings (it’s about 2-3 per day) is a care and selectiveness in deciding if something should go up at all. The other shopping sites spit out 30-40 entries a day. I tried keeping up but eventually gave up. Truth is, their posts were just one big blur. I’m sure there were some gems in there, but how am I supposed to know that? They’ve left the task of valuing their information to me, the reader. Big mistake.
Traditional blogs are really no different. I find myself valuing a blog far more if the author is careful about his or her topics and puts some real thought into them before posting. Contrast that with the mega-blogs Gizmodo and Engadget. They average about 50-80 posts per day. The result? Nothing is important. That’s not a blog. That’s a news wire service. The editorial duties have been left up to me.
Information is literally gushing out these days. We swim and paddle through it and are constantly searching for something worthwhile. What I appreciate about Slickdeals and sites like is that they still understand that their value lies not just the content of what they deliver but also the discretion they exercise in deciding what to publish at all.