I’ve always been a huge fan of Arc90’s Readability bookmarklet, which performs an article-text parse of any web page and displays the results in a highly readable, adjustable format. (It’s like Instapaper’s text view, but nicer and applied in place, instantly, to the web page you’re viewing.)
Today, they launched an entirely new Readability service: you pay a small fee each month, and they give most of the proceeds to the authors of the pages you choose (by using the Readability bookmarklet on them, or adding them in other ways). It’s a great way for readers to support web publishers, big and small, directly and automatically.
I’m working with Readability in three main ways:
- Instapaper will soon provide an option to send logs of your reading activity to your Readability account if you have one, so pages you read in Instapaper will give “credit” to the publishers.
- I’ve created a special Readability edition of the Instapaper iPhone and iPad app to serve as Readability’s official mobile app, due out in the near future.
- I’m an advisor to the company.
Trust me, these guys really know their stuff, and their heads are in the right place: there are no sinister motives or shady practices. It works exactly the way you’d expect, and is one of the most positive, constructive efforts I’ve seen in the online publishing world in a long time.
I’m honored to be a part of it, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.