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The tools I use for reading and sharing

I read on web everyday. I read news in the morning on my way to work in Caltrain. In the office, I read to find information I need at work. On my way home in the train, I often read for fun or for the knowledge needed for the evening and weekend projects. Some articles are very useful and some are to be forgotten after reading just one paragraph. In the era of web, most of the articles have links to others, and I may not have time to read everything when I discover them. I may also want to read the articles again in the future. I also want to share the gems I found on the web. Bookmark feature of web browsers saves pages, and with Chrome browser, it even lets me share the bookmarks across the devices from the desktop to smartphone that are registered as mine. But I don't think it is not great at sharing with other people.

I use Instapaper instead of bookmark. I like it because,

  • I can save articles with one button installed on my browser when I read on desktop or Safari browser on my iPad.
  • Saving is not one-button when I read on non-Safari browsers (e.g. Chrome browser, Facebook app) on iPhone or iPad, but it's still not too bad: I have Instapaper apps installed on those devices. First copy the URL on Chrome or Facebook, then switch to Instapaper app, then the app will know there is a URL in the clipboard and asks me if I want to save it.
  • Flipboard integrates Instapaper and the save is done in a couple of taps.

Those are about saving articles, but I like Instapaper more because of its reading experience. It strips away ads and distracting colors on the page, and let me focus on reading. It is so nice that I actually save any articles to Instapaper first even when I read them immediately.

Instapaper let me share on various outlets. I set it so that it shares on Twitter and Facebook as soon as I mark the article as my favorite. I am thinking to use Evernote more on various occasions especially in conjunction with Penultimate that I've been loving for a long time. So I started to send my favorite articles from Instapaper to Evernote.

People use different portals to follow other people. I have been sharing what I read on Facebook and Twitter. I have just created tumblr for that purpose, so it's pretty much empty there, but it will be filled from now on. Instapaper of course supports tumblr sharing.

What about web news feeder? I am curious how many people still use news reader. If I count Flipboard as a news reader, I am one of them. I was wondering about this when I was coding the program to run this web site. Today, I added atom.xml feature anyways in case someone need it.

By the way, this post is related to the previous one, which was more about writing my own article. As for writing, I modified the program of this site today so I can author my blogs in Markdown instead of HTML. It's much simpler and much less cumbersome than HTML, so I can focus on writing the content. I also don't like Wysiwyg editors as they make the user abuse the styles and produce ugly HTMLs.

What are your favorite tools of reading, curating and sharing?

Original post: March 30, 2014 | Last updated: March 30, 2014

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