Dan W

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Instapaper Placebo

Last week Instapaper released a new bookmarklet. It’s nice. It saves articles that have been split across multiple pages.

However it doesn’t work in the way I want the Instapaper bookmarklet to. So I’ve made my own. It’s above. You put it in your bookmarks. When you find an article or web page you want to read later, you click it. And it saves it for later.

There’s one difference. Mine doesn’t save the page, it just pretends to. And that’s good enough.

I use instapaper a lot. I think it’s a fantastic service. No longer do I have a hundred tabs open to web pages I intend to read at some point before closing the browser. I can push them to instapaper and read them on my commute instead in a calm stripped down format. It works great.

But I find far more things that look interesting than I have time to read. Currently I have 4051 unread links. I had to write some code to find that out because instapaper doesn’t have an unread count anywhere. That lack of unread count is the best feature.

I’ve built instapaper placebo because instapaper itself is too complex for what I need. I don’t need a nice mobile app for reading. I don’t need a way to remove all the clutter from the page. I don’t need an online cross-platform bookmark syncing service. I just need a way of offloading all my good intentions. A way to stop hoarding links. And with less stuff to read I can make more stuff instead. Productive stuff. Like instapaper placebo.

Oh. Never mind.

Mar 7th, 2012