Instapaper

Short description

This app allows the user to save a clutter free version of almost any text on the web to read later on any device.

With Instapaper Marco Arment have done a lot for smart reading. Not only because reading what's on the web is much easier with Instapaper, but also as the app helps people get a "clutter-free" reading environment. In a time where we are bombarded with commercial messages when all we want to do is get a deeper understanding of an issue Instapaper comes to the rescue.

As Marco describes the app himself: "Well-written content is out there, and we do have opportunities every day to read it — just not when we’re in information-skimming, speed-overload mode. But we can all read while waiting in long lines, commuting (although please not while driving), or sitting on the goofy chairs in the shoe area and being supportive while our wives are shopping.

The times we find information aren’t always ideal for consuming it. Instapaper helps you bridge that gap."

www.instapaper.com

Wired wrote an article where Marco links inattentive reading to "information obesity" that you can read here as long as it is available.

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ Encourage reading longer texts and thereby a more reflective culture.
+ Helping people avoid commercial messages.
+ Encourage e-reading instead of paper reading.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- Only available for iPhone, but the site’s layout is mobile-friendly.
- No nudges for people to not print out material.
- No calculations for how much paper that is saved if the material would have been printed out.
- No calculations for how much "clutter" the brain has been saved from.

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

> The possibility to measure how long the user focus on different things during the use of computers and mobile devices (for many it might come as a surprice that they have lost the ability to focus).
> A feature that connects people that are interested to develop more complicated ideas further.
> A function where people could link longer articles to the short snippets on the web/media so that users could see the where they could get in-depth information about different areas.
> Links to brain science that show what happens when we live in fragmented environments.

Delivery

How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot

Comments

The part to avoid clutter in texts is direct as the app is helping people to read longer text in a reading friendly format when they want. The saving of paper might take place if people otherwise would have printed out the pages or read paper documents with the information. Worst case it could encourage people to use more people if they print out the Instapaper documents.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking

Comments

To read longer material without commercial, or other kind of paid, clutter should not be transformative, but it is and increasingly so.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group

Comments

It is about reading and reflection, while some collaboration might be interesting, it might actually be good not to have every activity turned into a social media event.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge

Comments

Allowing people to read longer texts is helpful regarding of area. What could be interesting is an feature where the users can indicate interests and then see how the material they read reflect their interest to make sure they are reading material in all areas they want to.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable

Comments

The ability to think about everyone on the planet require reflection and this app helps people to reflect, but there are no real initiatives that help people to act more directly.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend

Comments

While using an app to allow for tailor-made content, longer reading is not really what today's media environment encourage, making this a really important app.

Timeframe

How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)

Comments

Education is a long-term project and reading longer texts don't have a value in itself, but it is necessary to understand the complexity and rapidly changing world.

Transparency

Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency

Comments

It is not so much about transparency, as it is about deeper knowledge.

Comments are closed.