Thursday, January 13, 2011

del.icio.us, kindle, instapaper - my news reading habits

It was recently announced that yahoo is shutting down / selling del.icio.us. I had been a long time user, and as any of you who subscribed to my RSS feed will know, used the service mainly to share articles I found interesting - sort of a what I'm reading list. With the uncertainty around del.icio.us' future, like many others, I've decided to find a replacement.

As I never really used it as a bookmarking service, but rather an article sharing method, I've decided on Instapaper as my replacement. Instapaper offers a "Read Later" bookmarklet - whenever you find an interesting article, a quick click and it's added to your queue of things to read. This queue can also be shared (as I've done on the right of my blog) so that others can see what you're reading.

The main premise around Instapaper is that it allows you to save lengthier articles for later - when you actually have time to sit down and read them. This is great, as I'm frequently emailed links, and don't always have a chance to read them then and there. Additionally, they offer the ability to send the articles to a Kindle - taking them to a screen which is much more eye-friendly; something I've come to appreciate dearly since spending more and more time in front of a computer.

As many of you will be aware, Amazon charges a data transfer fee if you use their "@kindle.com" email address to send things to the device. If you have a mac, there's a neat workaround in the form of an automator script. This little hack detects whenever you plug in your kindle and automagically downloads whatever articles are in your Instapaper queue for easy reading in "newspaper" form on the Kindle.

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