How I read the web


The first time I tried Readability was in its Safari Reader incarnation in Safari 5. It’s invaluable, especially on sites following the “content banner” school of design.

There’s a post, and discussion, about the relationship between readers’ and producers’ control over formatting, which made me think about how their model matches how I read the web.

I use my own basic feed reader, which runs batched and produces a single page of content to read. It’s similar to river of news, similar to Planet, but not identical.

All styling is removed, and the browser’s scrollbars are a great indicator of how much is left, which in turn lets me judge how much to skim.

The river approach works well, especially for skimming. There’s the usual tension. Some feeds are for browsing - news, especially, or busy blogs. Others should work more like email: I really do want to read the backlog on some feeds, even if it’s months out of date. I’m still missing a trick for an elegant way to reconcile those modes.

(Music: Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs”)
(More from this year, or the front page? [K])