Tom Insam

Unread Count Tracking

I wrote up my unread count sparkline generator code. It watches my various online services and tracks how many unread items I have in each. For instance, you can see that today I suddenly got a lot of unread items in my RSS reader. I blame the Economist.

Having these graphs has had 2 interesting effects. Firstly, I've found it lots easier to keep my unread counts down. For instance, immediately after building it I realised I had far too many things in Instapaper, reminding me to actually read them.

The other effect it has had is that I'm slightly more inclined to read things just before I know the hourly monitoring script triggers. I know I'm being observed now. Maybe I want to deal with this email now, so the graph moves down a notch. I know this is silly and irrational. I assume it'll fade once the novelty of the tracking has worn off. But I felt it was worth mentioning.