As much as I enjoy RSS (and the constant improvements to Feedly), it’s evident that the way in which we are sharing their content is changing.
After all, RSS is primarily meant for syndication, right?
But I think that more we are using social networks to share their content, and then discuss their content more than we once did. Honestly, I’m not really a fan of fragmenting discussions across a variety of networks, but that’s content for another post.
Anyway, as much as I still enjoy using RSS, following links from Twitter, or things shared on other sites and networks, I’ve been a little bit frustrated with the whole experience of trying to keep up with the content I want to read, and then having a solution for going back to reference it.
Using Pocket App
I’ve been using Pocket for several months now, but only until recently did I really start using it on a regular basis.
The Problem of Fragmented Bookmarks
Up until recently, I was collecting content like this:
- Leaving things unread in RSS (which you know eventually becomes fodder for bankruptcy)
- Starring things on Twitter to refer to later
- Flagging certain emails
- Emailing things to myself
- …and so on.
What a broken system.
I had even started to work on a small app that would aggregate all of my Twitter favorites into a single list so that I could sign in and read them whenever I had the time (but that’s just really moving the starred tweets into another location – or kicking the can down the road – right?)
Though I had installed Pocket on my phone and my iPad, and though I had the Chrome extension installed, I wasn’t really using it as much as I thought I would.
Sure, I had articles that I had collected, but I wasn’t doing anything with them because it felt like yet-another-place I had collected unread items.
Then I finally went through all of my RSS items, starred tweet, flagged emails, and moved all of the referenced articles into Pocket. Then, I made it a goal to read through everything that I had thrown into Pocket, archive what I really liked, and deleted what I thought was a fun-albeit-one-time read.
A Place For Everything, and Everything in Its Place
While I was going through my list of items to read, a really solid system emerged through which I was not only able to read all of the content that I had not previously had time to read, but I also was able to begin archiving and tagging content to build a digital bookshelf of sorts.
Not only that, I found myself sharing content that I was reading within Pocket to other people because I knew they’d find it interesting (the built-in mail feature is really nice).
This ended up solving a number of problems for me:
- I now have a central application in which I can store everything that I don’t have time to read at the moment.
- I can archive the content I really like and that I know I’ll want to re-read or reference in the future.
- I can share content with others via email who I know will enjoy reading whatever I’m sending.
- I have a place that I go back through and reference via the web, via my iPad, or via my phone, and I can do so based on tags that I create.
Not bad, in my opinion. On top of that, Pocket just updated to 5.0 which brings with it a solid set of updates that makes storing, reading, and using the app even easier.
This Won’t Work For You
I know – I sound like a Pocket salesmen or as if this a sponsored post. It’s not. I’ve nothing to gain my sharing this. Besides, Pocket is a free app (though I’d gladly pay a subscription to use it!).
The truth is, I’m someone who likes to collect material that I find useful for my job or my hobbies and refer to them over time. Traditional bookmarking used to be the way which we did this, and other services like Delicious used to serve this purpose.
But as new technology has emerged, the way in which we read content matters – it’s not enough just to have a URL – and the way in which we store and share the stuff we’ve read has changed.
Anyway, I’ve gushed enough.
Like the rest of the articles in this series, I don’t know if Pocket will work for you, or not, but I know that I dig it, and it’s really made it easier to consume a lot of the content I find throughout any given week.