Feeding the Fever

Recently I’ve been suffering from Information Overload. I have way too many RSS feeds from way too many sites I like to read. The problem is obvious, it’s nearly impossible to read ANY of them. Where do you begin? How do you organize them?

So recently Shaun Inman’s Fever was brought back into my field of vision. I’d looked at it before but wasn’t sure it was what I wanted in a feed reader. It basically works by giving articles a temperature. The more an article is discussed (linked to) in your RSS feed the higher the temperature is. There’s a section called Kindling for feeds you want to read everyday and one called Sparks for link blogs and news sites to basically build heat.

That’s what’s revolutionary. There are only 3 sections forcing you to figure out what is important to you. Once I started my introspective journey I was able to pare my Kindling, the things I want to read daily, down to 20 feeds. Totally manageable. The 20+ Apple sites who basically regurgitate the same articles are now in the Sparks feeding my Hot page. The 40 or so Design sites are also in Sparks buiding heat. Windows sites? Sparks. News? Sparks.

Then another idea hit me, why don’t I add Twitter and Friendfeeds. Then I can see what’s on the top of everyone’s head in real time. So I started adding people like Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, etc. Now Fever has become incredibly more useful. Not only am I seeing what’s hot in my RSS feeds but I’m seeing the discussions that are taking place in real time and what everyone is talking about. The more feeds you add, the better the sampling. It’s kind of like going to a restaurant you’ve never tried before, looking what everyone else is eating and then ordering that. Well, maybe that’s not the best analogy but I’m hungry and you get the idea.

So what’s the gist. Get Fever. Try Fever. You need a web server with PHP and MySQL. If you have CRON setup you can have the feeds pulled all the time, otherwise it only pulls them when the browser requests a page. If you plan on adding a lot of feeds I recommend CRON. Shaun Inman, the maker of Fever and Mint, has an installer that makes sure your server is compatible. If it is you’ll get a code that you enter on the download page and then you can purchase Fever. If Fever isn’t compatible with your server it won’t let you buy it. How nice is that? If you’re on MediaTemple Fever works fine with your server.

To check out Fever visit FeedaFever.com

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