Save Articles For Later Using Pocket

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I think this is a cool invention that provides busy people like myself a way not to miss any important or interesting articles or news or any other web contents. People may browse the Internet for information or something to read on daily basis. Most of the time, people just don't have the time to read several articles all at once. Of course, bookmarking is the common way to save the links to those webpages so that those links can be revisited again if need be, when time is permitted. Bookmarking ability first came built-in with the browsers. Be it Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari, each has its own, custom bookmarking features, featuring more or less similar bookmarking capability. Then entered the online version of bookmarking applications. Delicious, Diigo, and Google Bookmarks, for instance, store those web links online. This way, one can always access his stored links from virtually anywhere regardless of what devices he's on, as long as he's connected to the web.

The latest approach of bookmarking things from the Net was taken quite a while ago. Instead of just saving up links to web pages, the new strategy is to operate as a service to save quite a decent part of the whole page whether they're textual, images, and videos. Pocket (previously Read It Later) and Instapaper are two of among a few offering this service and better, their services are offered for free. Admittedly, I'm quite new to this style of bookmarking since I seldom read on many articles. Only recently that I did change my style of browsing the web that I found out the usefulness of the 'real' bookmarking function that can actually save pages from the Web. After a brief experiment, I decided to go on with Pocket. Why I didn't make Instapaper as my first choice is because it has been around for quite sometime. I think it's kinda well-known already. Although Pocket is actually a remake of Read It Later, which was founded in 2007, it gets fresh makeover and functionality upgrades, hence the new identity. It was then relaunched with the new name earlier this year.

With rapid advancement in the technological sector especially in the mobile and computing world, people are no longer limited to personal computer or laptop in order to access the Web. Now is the era of 3G and 4G mobile computing. Long gone those bulky 5kg desktops or 3-inch thick laptops. Also obsolete was the dial-up connection to hook you up to the Net. Now is when people go mobile and mobility means ease to travel around. Even carrying a 1.5kg slim notebook doesn't look cool anymore lately. While I still think small phones (not even smartphones) are more practical, it's now tablets and big-screen smartphones are the in thang. Major devices like iPad, iPhone, Android-based gadgets, Kindle Fire, Samsung Note and Tablet, and a few others are hot-selling gizmos nowadays. Developers at Pocket realized this and they came up with an application that supports all major devices and operating systems.

While all the goodies offered by Pocket can be learnt from its website, I will only write on the implementation of Read It Later (or Pocket) button that most of you readers can see embedded in all of my blog posts. There are two situations where you can utilize these buttons, provided you've registered with Pocket. Don't worry, it will cost you nothing.

  1. As a single button on a page (ideal for an article or blog post) where upon clicking the button, it will save the currently viewed page to user's reading list. A user needs to log in to Pocket if he hasn't done so.
  2. As multiple buttons (ideal for displaying multiple links on a page with a Pocket button alongside each link). Clicking the button will save appropriate content of the link it's been associated with.

For situation #1, put the code where you want it to appear:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://getpocket.com/button/single_v1.js"> </script>

For situation #2, follow these two steps:

Step 1 - Add Helper javascript (in the <HEAD> section of the intended page)

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://getpocket.com/button/multi_v1.js"> </script>

Step 2 - Add buttons wherever needed

<script type="text/javascript"> RIL_button('http://yourdomain/page_to_save', 'Title of article'); </script>

(Replace http://yourdomain/page_to_save with the absolute path to the link)

Original instructions were obtained from API page but it's almost impossible to reach this page via Pocket's website. I got lucky to have found this link when I did some searches on this topic after getting a help from Pocket's email support went fruitless.

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