To give general web users a better reading and writing environment, Readability – one of the pioneers in web reading technology – has rolled out its new version. This new Readability focuses not only on the readers, but also on web publishers.
From Bookmarklets To Add-Ons
Basically, web services like Readability will convert any webpage into a more read-friendly format. To know more about the concept, let’s watch this short introduction video.
Even though the bookmarklet is still functional, the New Readability utilizes browser add-ons to carry out the conversion task. To get the add on for your browser, click the “Get the Add-On” button on Readability’s main page.
The site will detect what browser you use and give you the download link accordingly.
After the download is finished, install the add-on. In my experiment, the Safari version of the Readability add-on required a manual installation.
After a quick installation, the Readability add-on button will appear next to the URL field.
You can enable or disable the add-on from the Preferences window.
Using The Add-On
To see the differences between the old and new version of Readability, I opened a MakeUseOf page and pressed the Readability button. The article page was quickly converted into a clean, easy-to-read page. But so far, it’s more or less similar to the old version.
The big difference is in the tool sidebar. Along with the familiar “Reload” and “Print” buttons, the new version also gives users tools to quickly change the page layout according to their preferences. Click one of the boxes under “Font & Color” and the layout will change into a pre-defined layout.
The tool will also let users quickly change the width of the text area and also the font size, which is useful if you have sight problems.
If you prefer clean text for your articles, Readability lets you “convert links to footnotes“. No more blue-underlined text as every link will now go to the end of the article. You can also hide the images within the article if you want to.
Another additional feature on the sidebar is the sharing button. Now you can easily share the article that you are currently reading via Twitter, Email and Facebook. Readability goes one step further by providing you with a shortened URL of the article.
More Publisher Friendly
The problem with most services like Readability is that they are not publisher friendly. Stripping down a webpage into the clean, easy-to-read format also means stripping out all of the publisher’s income.
To solve this problem, Readability offers a paid subscription model to its users. Subscribers can choose how much money they are willing to pay every month (with the minimum amount being US$ 5.00). Readability will then give 70% of the money to writers and publishers, while keeping the remaining 30% to maintain and improve the service.
To make the offer more compelling, paid subscribers will get more features compared to free users, such as the ability to save articles to read later and also mobile access to the saved articles.
If you are a writer or publisher and you want to participate in the program, you can add the “Reading Buttons” on your website(s). Adding the buttons is as easy as embedding the provided script.
Also don’t forget to register your site to join the “Readability movement“.
As a reader, I think the New Readibility is way better than the old one. Especially with the addition of quick layout and sharing tools. As a writer, I think the paid subscription model offered by Readibility might be one of the solutions to provide readers with a more comfortable reading environment while keeping that environment publisher friendly.
What do you think about the New Readability? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.
Image credit: the bbp