Pondering adopting Reader as my “read and annotate the web” tool, since learning of it via Craig Mod. As Craig puts it, Reader is “a fabulous long form reading, meta-data-editing, article-organizing platform”, and early toying around with it seems to merit the superlatives.

To date, I’ve used Pinboard for this. I love Pinboard’s web 1./2. whatever vibe—each entry has four plaintext fields into which you can put pretty much whatever you want. The rules for tagnames are something like “any UTF-8 character other than the space character”, since it denotes the split between multiple tags for an entry. I’ve used this to make tags into an extensive schema of my own, with, e.g., by: or via: prefixes, among other structures.

I’ve been stretching Pinboard, though, with much of my reading now being email newsletters or RSS that I first encounter through a Feedbin/NetNewsWire setup, often on my phone, using the Pins app to send them to Pinboard. Reading so much on my phone, without clipboard management, means the copying / pasting is quite laborious, and I often enough skip noting something because of the effort inolved.

Reader has a definite leg up in some ways, particularly as much of my annotation lately is really just highlighting, plus some occasional commentary or notes to self on my part. It does so in a rich way, and that richness enables a bunch of other features, like Readwise’s spaced repetition resurfacing of annotated material. It also alooks and feels like a modern app, while Pinboard doesn’t.

But it’s that sophistication that has me pause: limited though Pinboard can be, it’s also incredibly dependable; a solid, simple schema that I could easily replicate if needed. Fortunately, they both have extensive enough APIs that portability is at least theoretically possible. This could quickly spiral into yet more tech, of course: Craig points to the Readwise Obsidian integration, yet another entire ecosystem of read/write/storage to consider. Anyhow—tech enough for one day.

May 11, 2024 at 9:57 am