Stefan Constantinescu is trimming his news feeds of excess crap. It's sort of been interesting reading, except for the general bitterness towards his former (and my current) employer. I've been mostly skimming for his "keepers", but also reading some of his reasons for cutting feeds out of his bloated subscription list.
Normally I just do that sort of thing on a daily basis, wacking feeds I get sick of if they get useless or piss me off, and thus the list of feeds I subscribe to ebbs and flows, sometimes getting unwieldy, sometimes not giving me enough content to slake my eternal infolust. More and more I simply try to focus in on the signal which is lost in the seemingly never-ending increase in noise. (I wacked Read/Write Web and Mashable about a month ago, and I can honestly say my life has truly been better for it.)
The thing that Stefan is doing wrong though is wacking the rarely updating blogs, like this one has turned out to be. The only real reasons for deleting non-updating feeds are 1) you're using a local client and get sick of waiting for app to go through the huge list of feeds that don't actually update or 2) you're truly not interested in what that feed's topic is any more. Otherwise, it doesn't hurt to just leave them and see if the writer picks up someday where they left off - if/when they do, the story will just appear in your stream and it's sort of nice bonus when it happens.
I've seen lots and lots of bloggers lose interest for a while (like myself) and then come back strong with a few really great posts that are truly interesting. Maybe they'll disappear for a while after that, but who cares? My feeds are updating on the server, so I never wait for it, so if I subscribe to 100 feeds where the authors rarely post? It doesn't really matter to me.
I think as Twitter and Facebook are sucking up more of the smaller thoughts that many of us used to fill our blogs with on daily basis, and with blogging itself losing a lot of that excitement it held when it was shiny and new (i.e. when your Mom and CNN didn't know what a blog was), there's going to be a lot more sites out there that start to slow down. But just like this post, they can come back to life at any time if someone has a thought and if you're subscribed, you'll see it.
Just a thought...
P.S. And Stephan, if you do trim me, be polite. :-)