My Favorite Blog Feeds, 2014 Edition

By Tuesday, December 30, 2014 0 , Permalink 2

I like being up-to-date on topics that interest me. The main tool I use to do that is RSS feeds. I use Feedly to subscribe to RSS feeds of information sources that I want to follow (mostly blogs).

While Feedly is available via web and mobile apps, I use the Android app almost exclusively. I might use the web version to organize my subscriptions from time to time, but I do the actual reading on my Nexus 5.

I made it a habit to catch up on my Feedly Must Read list as a filler, whenever I have “down time” (commute, waiting for something, coffee break, etc.). Much better than burning time on Facebook and such, in my opinion 🙂 . I religiously clear out my Must Read queue at least once a week (I estimate it’s currently around 1,200 items per week).

This post lists my favorite RSS feeds, as of December 2014.

A word on my Feedly workflow

The Must Read feature on Feedly is priceless for me. I add two kinds of feeds to the Must Read list:

  • Feeds that I decided to follow on a regular basis, with the goal to at least skim through everything published on them.
  • New feeds that I’m “trying out” (don’t have a predetermined trial period though).

I will add new feeds that seem interesting to the Must Read list, to experience the content on a regular basis. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by the load on the Must Read list, I go through the feeds and trim it down.

A feed with especially bad content will be removed completely. Feeds that lose their Must Read status due to overload will remain in other Feedly categories that I might get to (but usually not).

Parameters I consider when choosing feeds to keep or to demote (in this order):

  1. Value.
  2. Energy required to follow.

“Energy” includes feed traffic (articles per day), and time it takes me to go through an average article on that feed. There are feeds with light traffic but long in-depth articles (like “Building Real Software”), and other feeds with heavy traffic but usually I just read the title (looking at you, Re/Code).

I religiously clear my Feedly “Must Read” list, at least once a week

Must Read feeds that I follow regularly

In no particular order:

Must Read feeds in trial period

Some other feeds from my archives

I don’t see a reason to list all of the feeds I have in the archives, as I don’t really follow them actively.

Here are a few of those feeds that I didn’t really want to demote, but the load was too much:

  • Android Police
  • GigaOM
  • TechCrunch
  • Wired Science
  • Wired Top Stories

A few more that I used to follow when my day job was around information security:

  • Krebs On Security
  • Dark Reading
  • ZDNet Zero Day Blog
  • Threat Level
  • CNET News – Security
  • ZDI Recent Press & ZDI Published Advisories
  • Symantec Weblog
  • Sucuri Blog
  • Threatpost
  • Moxie Marlinspike’s Blog (Thought Crime)

Appendix: How I used Python to build the list above

Feedly supports exporting the feeds in the OPML format.

I thought it would be faster to parse the export file and generate a Markdown list for this post, compared to manual labor. So I did 🙂 .

This script produced a list that I “massaged” a bit:


from xml.etree import ElementTree as ET
tree = ET.parse('feedly.opml')  # downloaded Feedly export file here
must_read = tree.getroot().find('.//outline[@text="Must Read"]')
for feed in must_read:
    html_url = feed.attrib.get('htmlUrl') or 'MISSING HTML URL'
    print '- %s ([website](%s), [feed](%s))' % (feed.attrib['text'], html_url, feed.attrib['xmlUrl'])


That’s my list. What’s on yours?

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