In an effort to reboot my reading habits and focus on longer blog and journal posts I asked friends to fork my OPML from Google Reader and then post their own.

I then wrote a script to merge all the lists into one mega-list. Removing duplicates, removing vanity search feeds, and inscrutable feeds that have disappeared or don’t really work.

Now at night instead of reading Twitter I am filtering through all 3,500+ feeds. I am in no rush. I am reading in order and if a feed looks good I keep it, if it doesn’t I unsubscribe.

Tonight I thought it’d be interesting to write another script that would pull each feed, check to see the most recent post date and then compile it and post the results in a chart. This is completely unscientific and I don’t think you can draw any conclusions, but I will say that the results were opposite of what I thought they’d be.

My prediction was that most of the feeds would be dead or last updated in 2008. Instead what I found was nearly half the feeds were still being updated.

The first bar in the following chart represents all dead feeds. 1,087 feeds were dead. They were either 404’d or the entire domain was gone. From there (starting at April 2004, consisting of one blog) each bar represents the number of feeds that have a last published date in that month and year. The bar on the far right represents feeds updated this month July 2012 (1,418 feeds).

The Chart

Again, unscientific, not at all what I expected, but fairly good results for where blogging has been for the past few years.