20 May, 2013 - No Comments!

Read it Never

A web & mobile app that holds all articles you don’t want to read now.

“Pocket”, “Instapaper”, and “Readability” are all amazing tools for nothing. I love to use them, same as you. But they help you not to read anything. Problem is a combination between people and the concept. Whatever application you choose at the end the result is the same. You will endup not reading anything.

It all started with a cool concept of reading things later because people are too busy to read now. So something came up, others thought they could do better, created mobile app, came up with minimal UI, another rebranded, and so on. But no one actually stopped to think for a solution to the real problem. What all those services do is making the their interface is better and easier. But what is the real problem?

You start off with a new cool read it later. You start collecting interesting stuff whenever something comes up. At first, RIL is very handy and you’ll keep up for a while; until you get busy with something. You’ll keep adding, until it becomes unreadable. All those article and videos, important and unimportant one will be in one nest, too scare to even look at. So you endup leaving this service for another new one and fresh one, and the cycle begins all over again.

Procrastination. I don’t know if that’s really their goal. But they are not really about reading it later, they are about getting your mind of distractions. Which is pretty cool, but what about important articles and stuff you kept saving.

It’s not easy to come up with something that will revolutionise procrastination. Something that understands you. But lets see what we need. A service that can save article and media for later, gives you important stuff relevant for you, and doesn’t accumulate.

1. Social. It doesn’t need be with relations but it needs to know who are you connected to and see what they save, see what everyone saves, and connectes you with people with same interest. This graph is private for the api to get recommendations and rate articles for you.

2. Sorting mechanism. Like Hacker News and layervault’s Designer News, first thing you see should be popular —base on your interest not views and likes of everyone. So you don’t miss anything important, and if you are starting to read, its better to start off with something interesting to get you started with reading.

3. Maintain itself. With all the data it have from your graph, it should have pretty good understanding of what you want and don’t want to read, also with the rating for each article it would also help know which one to discard. Think of it like a garbage collector. If the rating is low, and there is no interest based discard it after a week. If it just just one of the variables leave it for a month, then discard, but if the rating is high it can be left for couple of months. The longer its there the less rating it will get.

The good thing about this, is that you’ll get motivated to read before things disappear, and if you can’t read now, you know you can catch up in no time.

Apps should be smarter than just a database, and not being social is not acceptable anymore. This is just a draft of a problem many of us are having. I believe RIL services can do better because they have more data, and people who can test this hypothesis. They can ignore the problem but at some point, someone will stop and think “Read it Later is broken, How can I fix that?” then act on it. Same as what Mailbox did.

Published by: Seif in Productivity

Leave a Reply