I use feeds precisely because I don’t want to see everything. I am in control and filter what I see, so I don’t need their black box algorithms.
I am a heavy user of feeds (RSS/Atom), daily checking thousands of them,
multiples times per day. This translates to hundreds of notifications in
the form of e-mail messages, each e-mail encapsulating from one to a
hundred or more entries (news/comments/articles/documents).
To deal with all this, I delegate two tasks to my machine: filtering and
highlighting. My black-lists have more than 35.000 terms. Any entry
matching any of these is deleted. White-lists are used sparingly, for
the few noisy channels that don’t offer server-side search or tags. The
entries that survived are then scanned for words that I consider of
uttermost important so that they can be highlighted (with different
colors for different categories). These words will appear below the
title of the entries, complementing it. If a title fail to convince me
to read the entry, the highlighted words might push me to do it.
I process every message. Unread count at the end of the day: 0. I could
not do this with e-mail alone. For me, e-mail is just the presentation
layer. The process described above could not be done with the usual
e-mail newsletter (unstructured data), but it can be done with feeds
I read the name of the feed reader that I use mentioned in a job ad by
Reuters, so maybe one could say I have cut out the middle man and now I
run my own journal, for only one customer: me.