Instapaper & Google Reader
There are a few websites and blogs I enjoy in their entirety because of their fine design and craftsmanship. I type in their URL, and I absorb the site – from the words to the typography to the grid system.
Besides those few exceptions, I get most of my online fixes through Google Reader. I subscribe to RSS feeds of all my favorite sites and periodically check my Reader throughout the day (my wife is always amazed when I come home in the evening and I know about all the news they’re broadcasting). Text & image. No frills. Hey, that’s why it stands for Real Simple Syndication. 🙂
Whenever I come to a story that is intriguing, I’ll star it for later. There are 2 reasons that might star an article. First – it looks interesting, but I don’t have that time at that moment to read the entire entry (if it looks long). Second – the entry is more than just a witty post. It’s important and says some profound things that I might want to read and reread over, and perhaps write about on this site.
Now my Google Reader (who will be playing the part of the Batman in this movie) has a new sidekick – Instapaper (read: Robin).
Instapaper works in two steps. First, when I come to a story I want to read later, I click on the Instapaper ‘Read Later’ link in my Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar (think del.icio.us 1.0). Second – I launch the Instapaper application on my iPhone and click ‘Update’ and it caches my pages so that I can read them later. Especially when I don’t have an Internet connection in the subway.
So what Instapaper has done is provide a nice compliment to Google Reader. It won’t replace Reader, it’s just offloaded some of the work of starring items. These stars weren’t even accessible underground anyway without Internet anyway.