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Building our newspaper together

I’ve been playing with Instapaper.com a little, and liking it a lot.

It’s a free site built by Marco Arment, who works at Tumblr (if I’m reading this right). You put the Instapaper “Read Later” button in your button bar, and click it if you’re on a site you want to read later. Go to Instapaper.com and you’ll see a list of what you’ve clicked. Simplicity itself.

There seems to be just one more feature: Any text you’ve selected on the page your instapapering is taken as that page’s description.

That takes care of my temporary bookmarking needs, a feature I’ve wanted for a while. But I wonder what would happen if my instapaper page were public and pointable. Could we start to use instapaper to build a collaborative newspaper that pulls together the recommended reading of people you respect?

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11 Responses to “Building our newspaper together”

  1. Interesting, but I’m having a problem seeing how this fits into my tumblr/del.icio.us world. Do I need another bookmarking service?

  2. Instapaper

    On a given day, I have about 30 tabs open in my browser for resources I want to view when I have time. It’s a bit of a pain and can slow computer performance. Enter Instapaper – install a simple…

  3. You could accomplish the same goal by using a tag like “to_read” at Delicious or some other tagging site. Instapaper is easier because it does nothing but track stuff you want to read. So, no, you don’t _need_ another bookmarking service. but do you _need_ red licorice or the latest issue of People? ;)

  4. […] David Weinberger likes it too, and he proposes a good idea. What if Instapaper gets social? It would be nice subscribing to someone else’s article. Of course you already have RSS, but maybe you can do more. […]

  5. I tend to end up some days with so many open bookmarks that it is too overwhelming to go back and read them all. If they were bundled up into a nice-looking newspaper front page design, a bit like Arts & Letters Daily, I might be more inclined to read them.

    Instapaper is perhaps the first step. Does anyone know if there’s something like what I have described above?

  6. Yes, that’s my point. I can just make a ReadLeter tag at del.icio.us.
    The worry about that of course is what will happen to del.icio.us after the Microsoft-Yahoo merger :-(

  7. AJ, Instapaper is easier, which means I’m more likely to use it. If you’re used to using readlater at Delicious, instapaper isn’t for you.

  8. Instapaper’s interaction model is interesting because focuses on the “future” whereas del.icio.us/tumblr are about what belongs to the past. Yes you can use a to_read tag, but somebody could argue you’re “polluting” the namespace. Go figure ;)

    Instapaper imho is still a bit rough on the edges interaction-wise, but I think it highlighted a new niche.
    Certainly adding a social layer would make it even more challenging / viral / magnetic, but what I would really like to see is a tool that helps me _free_ my attention time, instead of giving me more and more stuff to feed upon :)

  9. I use Delicious, but can see myself using Instapaper too because it’s so simple and the interface is better for reading via my phone (which is where this would be really useful).

    But I’m not sure I agree with you David, since the raison detre seems to be that it produces a list of intentions, rather than a benchmark of quality.

    It’s the first-pass filter: “this seems interesting enough to warrant a second look”. If I really wanted a news stream built from the reading lists of people I know and/or trust, I’d want the second-pass filter (after you read it, was it any good?)

    Still, might be an idea worth developing.

  10. “Could we start to use instapaper to build a collaborative newspaper that pulls together the recommended reading of people you respect?”

    I could certainly be mistaken, but this is in no small part what tumblr is for. Instapaper seems like it’s just one of tumblr’s features stripped out and made to sit alone for simplicity’s sake.

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