Readme

When time is short or my brain is full, I have two ways of marking content as worth reading at some point in the future:

  • if it’s in google reader I star it
  • if it’s on the wild wild web then I add it to delicious and tag it ‘readme’

The fact that I have over 600 ‘readme’ items in delicious, going back to 2004 tells us one of two things:

  1. I am not reading those items, or
  2. I am not untagging them once read.

Sadly for me, the answer is (1) and I’ve not previously worked out a way of making serious damage to the number of unread articles without declaring bankruptcy and potentially starting again – except of course that I would still have no strategy for actually reading them!

Enter http://www.tabbloid.com/ – a two-year old (yet new to me) service from HP that lets you add any number of feeds you like and it will, on a daily or weekly schedule, grab those feeds, merge the results, sort by time, select the most recent items and generate a PDF which it will then email to you.

I’m going for a weekly delivery of both my starred items and readme items – my first one arrived in my inbox the other day, I printed it out and am very happy indeed. Of course it means that each week I’m giving myself a job to go through my Tabbloid printout and de-star or remove the tag in delicious, but at least I’m making progress!

For generating PDFs from RSS I’ve previously used http://fivefilters.org/pdf-newspaper/ but it’s been choking on the feeds I want processed. http://www.feedjournal.com/ is also a competitor, but with a less-slick website, and thus I didn’t try it. Yes, I really am that fickle.

That isn’t to say there aren’t any pain points with this whole process – I haven’t yet sussed how to queue up video items tagged with “watchme” for example, or watch videos I’ve starred in Google Reader – presumably there’s something about parsing the feeds, grabbing the video where possible, encoding to a phone-friendly format and then subscribing on a mobile feedreader, but that sounds like a lot of work right now for a relatively small issue and I’m more than happy to be able to have a piece of my online reading experience come offline with me, and be ready whenever I am.

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5 thoughts on “Readme”

  1. I understand its appeal but I’ve had trouble fitting it into my workflow. Even if I did, it’d just be another “readme” source that I’d need to schedule in somehow.

  2. The main benefit I’ve found of instapaper here is that it can email your kindle all of your “read later” articles every day.

  3. I’ve been using Instapaper with my Kindle along side KindleFeeder for RSS feeds. So far I’ve got better results with Instapaper but that’s probably because I filter out the articles I don’t want to read before adding it…

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