Revolution Systems will soon be offering a new web service called www.read-it-later.com.
What is read-it-later.com?
read-it-later.com is a browser based application to help you better keep up with your online reading material. It was built because I often found myself running across a long blog post, HOWTO, PDF, or otherwise large piece of text I wanted or even needed to read, but didn't have time at that particular moment.
Like many of you I suspect, I had a "TO READ" Firefox bookmark folder where I would plop these links with every intention of going back to read them. Unfortunately, links went in, but they rarely if ever came out.
Enter read-it-later.com. read-it-later.com allows you to bookmark these links into categories of your choosing and then receive a certain amount of links, your Reading List , via E-mail, RSS, or ATOM feeds on a schedule of your choosing.
For example, I currently have my read-it-later.com account setup like this:
- Send me 2 links via E-mail from my 'Work' and 'Perl' categories every morning, Monday through Friday
- Send me 3 links via E-mail from my 'Personal' category and 2 links from my 'Business/Marketing' category every Tuesday and Thursday evenings
- Send me 3 links via RSS from my 'Technology to Check Out' category every morning.
I have a few more categories and Reading Lists setup, but this gives you an idea of the options available to you. With this, I was able to trim down my "TO READ" folder in just a few short weeks.
I already use del.icio.us or ma.gnolia.com, will this work for me?
If you are a del.icio.us or ma.gnolia.com user you can continue to use those services to keep your bookmarks and read-it-later.com will just augment them by giving you the ability to populate your Reading Lists from tags you setup for that purpose in these services.
It works like this, you setup a specific tag in your current bookmark service, say 'rl-work' and then setup a read-it-later category that is associated with that tag and your login from the service you use. The preceeding 'rl-' is just a convention we've been using, your tag can be anything you like.
Once this link between your bookmark service's tag and your read-it-later category is established, read-it-later will check that tag hourly to see if there are any new links you have added. If it finds any, they will be added to a future reading list for you automatically.
Other features available at launch:
- Set a specific date you must read a link by and it will appear in your read lists prior to that date.
- Links are tracked by when they are actually clicked through. While we can't guarantee that you'll actually read the material, this does remove any worry about missing the material if you neglect a particular E-mail or feed entry.
- If you find you have some extra time to do some reading you can browse your un-read links in whole or by category and get some extra reading out of the way. Links read in this manner will not be re-sent to you in another Reading List.
- You can also have the system generate an extra, one time, Reading List you have previously defined and it will be sent to you immediately.
Will there be an API?
We plan on making available a REST style API to all aspects of the service in the coming months. We want to ensure we have the overall structure of the application baked in a bit more before we make the API public so we don't end up having to release a 2.0 version of the API too quickly and run into compatibility problems.
read-it-later.com will be priced at $3/month or $30/year. All users will receive a 30 day free trial to make sure read-it-later is something they find useful. No credit card or unnecessary personal information will be required to register and try out the service.
As it stands right now, your E-mail address and a password are all that are required to register and we hope to keep it that way. We hate filling out 97 different pieces of information as much as you do.
In addition, early beta testers who sign up now will receive 90 days of free service for being early adopters and to help us find any remaining bugs or user interface confusion as soon as possible. You can sign up at the site right now. The early beta registration site isn't very visually pleasing, we've focused all of our efforts on the actual site, so please bear with us.
Questions or Comments?
Got an question about the service or an idea on how we might make it better for you feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or send us an E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!