Reading it Later: Om Malik Reflects
Giga OM founder and prolific reader Om Malik posted a reflection on his reading habits on his blog that got me thinking about the way we consume, rate and appreciate content online. In this post, Malik shares some of the dialogue he has with the CEO of Pocket, a read-it-later service that allows you to save webpages you’re unable or unwilling to read at the moment you find them. It’s a great service and I love using it, but it is a source of guilt — which is what struck me about the exchange. I, like Malik, am also a voracious book buyer. My ‘to-read’ list is enormous and I am constantly feeling behind or wondering whether I have sufficiently caught up or processing what I need. Talking with others, this is shared and clearly Pocket is aware of this. The metric of words saved and read which, in the case of Om was two novels worth per month, is oddly reassuring that all that content consumed in webpages and tweets and such is adding up to something. The bigger issue and quest might be (a la Dr Strangelove): how to stop worrying and love content.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
One of the things I like about the internet (as opposed to hating it) is the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with really smart people and walk away more educated from those interactions. Earlier this week, I blogged about my save-and-read-it-later habits based on data from Pocket, which is my de facto TiVo for the web. My conclusion looking at the data was that I am reading a lot less than I thought (only about a third of what I was saving) and promised to work harder to get through more articles.
This prompted a response from Pocket CEO Nate Weiner and his editorial director, Mark Armstrong, who said that I have to look at it as a glass half full, not glass half empty. In his blog post in response to my post, Mark wrote:
“There is a misperception that Pocket should be treated like an email inbox, in which you have to go back to every single story or video that you’ve saved. Pocket works best if your ‘net consumption’ is better than what it would’ve been without save for later. My open rate is probably abysmal, because I am a digital hoarder. But I end up consuming exponentially more/better stories in a given day than I would have without Pocket.”