I read a lot of blogs. As of today, I have 221 blogs in my feed reader.
Which means, of course, that I don’t actually read every post from every blog. There just isn’t enough time. I read them like I used to read the morning paper.
Remember the morning paper? I stopped taking it when my first marriage ended because I was that broke. I missed it, though. It had been my ritual my entire adult life to scan and skim the newspaper while I ate my breakfast and sipped my coffee. I would leaf through the whole paper, except for the Sports section because I don’t care about sports. On each page I’d scan the headlines for stories that interested me, and then skim those stories’ opening paragraphs to decide whether they held my interest enough to read them through. I’d guess that I fully read no more than one in ten stories. But I had at least a thin understanding of all of the day’s news.
Blogs have replaced the newspaper in my morning ritual. Thanks to my phone, I also read blogs anytime I have unproductive downtime, such as sitting in a waiting room. I also occasionally find good blog posts through shares on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and via Hacker News.
Just like I did with the morning paper, I scan and skim, fully reading about one in ten posts. Of those, occasionally one will be especially interesting.
There are three criteria for a post being included in Recommended Reading: it must have been posted since the last Recommended Reading post went live, it must especially interest me, and I must think it likely to interest you. I also work to find at least three, but no more than seven, posts to share each week.
When I find an interesting post while I’m sitting at my computer, I add it to that week’s Recommended Reading post immediately. When I find an interesting post while I’m on my phone, I email it to myself and add it later.
Somewhere along the way I write the introductory paragraph. Or I don’t — after a few years of doing this, I’ve said all the introductory things any man can say. More and more now I skip it and just go straight to the posts.