The inclusion of the open-source codebase from Readability is one of my favorite features of the Safari 5 browser. Clicking on the “Reader” button strips the webpage to just the essential text. This makes reading long pieces on the web so much more enjoyable – as you can see in the example pictured below.
This morning I read Paul Ford’s Notice of Advisory Relationship and something he said really resonated with me.
I’ve learned that the web has countless ways to say “no,” or to say “meh.” It has fewer ways to say “yes.” Readability looks like a way to say “yes” to people doing hard work—whether they’re journalists, essay and fiction writers, publishers, editors, fact-checkers, illustrators, photographers, proofreaders, circulation specialists—or the people who write the checks. The web needs more “yes.”
This is why I decided to sign up and start using Readability as more than just a tool to easily read long articles (the free version). I appreciate the fact that 70% of my monthly subscription ($3.50 of my $5) goes directly to the writers and publishers of the content that I read. I am excited to see people who are passionate about quality writing on the web and want to see it flourish.
Here is a video explanation of Readability:
In a post a few days ago, I ranted a bit about how LIS schools need to take a more active role in embracing new technologies.
Though there is a lot of potential for great communication and collaboration in emerging technologies, it is important to shut down every once in a while for thought and reflection. These last few weeks I have been “on” more than I have been “off.” There have been times – while running in the dark late at night – that I realized my entire day had been mediated through a screen. These are the instances when I have to consciously remind myself to reconnect with the world around me.
In Program or be Programmed Douglas Rushkoff writes:
Our computers live in the ticks of the clock. We live in the big spaces between those ticks, when the time actually passes. By becoming “always on,” we surrender time to a technology that knows and needs no such thing.
The ticks are so much richer when we occasionally shut down and remember to explore the “big spaces between.”
As we are seeing the role that the Internet and social media are playing in Middle Eastern countries right now, I think that it is time we get serious about the notion of the Internet as a Human Right. This does not just mean for countries around the world, but it means making a serious effort to bridge the digital divide here in the US as well.
Kostas Grammatis discusses his ideas about this and what we can do to get involved at the recent TEDxAthens event.