How Twitter is Changing the Way I Read Blogs

I used to be a voracious blog reader. I loaded up my Google Reader with every interesting blog feed I came across. After all, I reasoned, there are so many good blogs out there it’s like getting a daily dose of free education. And I had a little bit of fear that if I didn’t subscribe to so many, I’d miss something.

But over the past year and a half, the way I consume blog content has gradually changed—and it’s all because of Twitter.

(Well, 95% because of Twitter; more on that later.)

Feed Wars: Twitter vs. RSS

As I began to use Twitter more, I also began following more and more of the top marketing folks using the service. As it happens, I found that many of these people were also writing the blogs I’d subscribed to via Reader.

What I eventually realized is that the same blog posts showing up in my Reader folders were also being promoted by their authors on Twitter. In fact, if one was particularly valuable, I could count on it to be retweeted and mentioned by many others as well.

The more I clicked through these links on Twitter, the less I read them by viewing them in Google Reader. (And the more the unread posts filled up in Reader.)

Slowly I began to unsubscribe to some of these blogs, knowing I would read them anyway because Twitter would lead me to them.

What’s more, I was reading posts across a wider variety of different blogs through Twitter—more of them than I could ever hope to keep up with as a subscriber.

As I whittled down my list of subscriptions, I also discovered that I was using Reader more, not less, because the number of new posts to comb through was lower, less daunting and more curated.

Who Wins? Twitter *and* Blogs

Today, I’m no less of a blog reader than I was before. The difference is in the way I find and consume the content. Reader has become less of a chore to sift through and more of a concentrated dose of high-quality information; it’s reserved for those Must-Read Blogs I always clicked through before and don’t want to miss out on, Twitter or no Twitter.

Meanwhile, Twitter is an ever-shifting landscape of blogs to read, some new and some familiar, but with the added benefit of being recommended by a real, (usually) thoughtful person and therefore more likely to be worth a quick read.

Between them, I’m kept up to date on industry news and information and I always have more than enough to read.

Your Turn

  • How do you keep up with industry blogs?
  • Has Twitter changed the way you decide what to read or how you find new blogs?
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