Scouring the web for new/interesting stuff to read is one of the best things about the Internet for me. My workflow for this foraging has been pretty similar for a very long time: browse RSS feeds of interesting people, read short interesting stuff immediately, save the longer stuff in a “read it later” tool.
For the past 10 years, my “read it later” tool of choice has been Instapaper.
To celebrate 10 years of using Instapaper, I went through and cleaned out my “unread” folder and archived the stuff from the past 10 years that I will probably never read completely. Now I’ve got 9 unread articles and 996 articles in my archives as read/mostly read.
I also ran some analysis on my 10 years of reading history using python and the Instapaper API. I repurposed a bunch of code from this project and that gave me a real head start on putting together some python code to analyze my Instapaper usage.
Unfortunately the Instapaper API is limited to 500 bookmarks so my time analysis below only represents the last 500 articles I read, so I am not sure how accurate/valuable it is.
That said, if you visit the “settings” page of your Instapaper account you can download a .csv file with your complete list of bookmark titles and URLs. Having a complete list of all article titles allowed me to do some cool word cloud analysis of the titles of the articles I’ve saved for the past 10 years:
Funny how just about right that word cloud is in capturing my reading habits/interests! I love that Jim Harrison gets his own little line in the upper left.
Anyway, suggestion to the guys who are currently keeping Instapaper alive: make it possible to include the date, progress and bookmark_id in the .csv that is downloadable through the settings page. Including in the .csv those attributes that are available via the API’s bookmarks/list method would allow the ability to do a full analysis on how many articles I saved/read per month over the past 10 years.
Instapaper is a joy to use and is very tightly integrated into my reading life and how I use the internet. I thought it was surprising/cool/interesting to realize that I have been using it for 10 years now. Thanks @MarcoArment for writing it and @bthdonohue for keeping it alive!