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:
- I am not reading those items, or
- 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.