Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Using FeedJournal #3: How to Publish Anything

This is the third post in a series on how to best take advantage of FeedJournal Reader. Today, I describe how you can select any text to be published in the next issue of your personalized newspaper.

If you are like me, you are probably receiving links to interesting online articles from a multitude of sources: e-mail, newsletters, ads, feeds, etc. I find that more and more relevant and interesting information is becoming available online, but I usually don't have opportunity to read it at the time of discovery. I would like to file it away and read it later.

The simplest strategy would be to bookmark the web page and browse my bookmarks once I have some time available. I could use my web browser's bookmark feature, an online boomarking service like Furl or, or use Instapaper. Provided I am online, these solutions allow me to access the relevant articles, but they don't allow me to read the article uninterrupted.

As I often touch upon in my blog, there is a fundamental problem with reading long texts on a computer. I suggest printing the articles on paper so you can concentrate fully on the reading task at hand and thereby use your reading time more effectively. A more bulky, but interesting, alternative to paper is of course the e-reader devices, which are doing an excellent job of emulating the experience of reading printed material.

If you decide to go the route of printing your reading list, you might find FeedJournal Reader a very attractive solution. It's a service, which allows you to subscribe to news feeds and periodically publish them in a personalized paper.

To make your paper even more valuable, you can mark any text not in your subscription list to be published in the upcoming issue. Below is my preferred recipe:

Ingredients (all free): One Google Notebook account with the browser extension (optional) and one FeedJournal Reader account.

Scenario: You have browsed to an interesting article but have no time to read it right now.

Instructions: Select the text with the mouse, right-click on the selection and choose "Note this (Google Notebook)". The text have now been saved to your Google Notebook account. Make sure it is added to a section marked as shared, as it enables RSS feeds from the notebook. Grab the feed URL from the public page of your Google Notebook and subscribe to it in FeedJournal Reader. Once you subscribed to that section's RSS feed, any additional entries you add to Google Notebook will be automatically published in FeedJournal Reader.

Another solution I have been successful with is Evernote 2.0 which replaces Google Notebook's functionality in the scenario above. Evernote is still in invitation-only beta mode, but looks very promising since it offers client applications for both web, Windows, Mac and mobile platforms. I have invites to share for accessing Evernote beta, so just let me know if you would like one.

UPDATE (Apr 24, 2008): As Ken Lawrence correctly pointed out to me, the Evernote solution does not work for FeedJournal, because it cuts off the notes if they are too long. This correction only invalidates the last paragraph of my blog post. Using the suggested Google Notebook service works as advertised. Thanks, Ken!

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