Thursday, December 3, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

The Secret Power of “Read It Later” Apps

Tiago Forte (via Hacker News):

Let’s look at the 4 main barriers to consuming long-form content, and the affordances that Read It Later apps use to overcome them[…]

[…]

Bringing this back to filtering, not only am I saving time and preserving focus by batch processing both the collection and the consumption of new content, I’m time-shifting the curation process to a time better suited for reading, and (most critically) removed from the temptations, stresses, and biopsychosocial hooks that first lured me in.

I am always amazed by what happens: no matter how stringent I was in the original collecting, no matter how certain I was that this thing was worthwhile, I regularly eliminate 1/3 of my list before reading. The post that looked SO INTERESTING when compared to that one task I’d been procrastinating on, in retrospect isn’t even something I care about.

pdkl95:

The “secret power” of Pocket is that someone is making money off selling detailed information on what people red, probably including when, where, probably how long a given document is read. They aren’t offering their bandwidth and storage as some sort of charity; those server costs are obviously being covered by surveillance-as-a-business-model.

The database Pocket is building is an incredibly tempting target for many different groups (governments, insurance companies, etc). Even if Pocket isn’t using that data (unlikely), the probability of leaks/theft is high.

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The database Pocket is building is an incredibly tempting target for many different groups (governments, insurance companies, etc). Even if Pocket isn’t using that data (unlikely), the probability of leaks/theft is high.

OH NOES! Big Brother will know I meant to read, "Raspberry Pi Zero is an incredibly small, $7 computer" later! And "Grantland and the (Surprising) Future of Publishing"! And "Chickpea Coffee Substitute Recipe"!

Those really are the three most recent articles on my Instapaper feed. And now you know too.

Even if you are saving more nefarious sorts of articles to your favorite "read later" service, I'm betting you're also being careless in other ways that are just as easy or easier for a gov't to get their hands on. And insurance? Even if I'm saving article after article on, eg, Hep C, that doesn't mean I've got it. (I'm not. I'm, again, the guy not-yet-reading about making coffee out of chickpeas.)

"I regularly eliminate 1/3 of my list before reading," is kind of an interesting point to think about, but even a reasonably bitbleed-conscious guy like myself can feel pdkl95 has a little tinfoil on his/her/xer head there.

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