Readability 2.0 is a win for humankind

Readability LogoI’ve been a bit behind on the the internets lately; apparently there is a new readability 2.0 out. With 2.0, they have introduced browser plugins, some various new features, mobile apps and, most importantly, a new pay model. With this model, users pay a $5 monthly fee and publishers / content creators are receiving  70% of the money that readability receives from their users.

I have been using their bookmarklet for quite some time to make web pages easier to read. Typically I use it to turn off the 500 million annoying ads on various sites, or sometimes just to make a poorly designed site easier to read.  My initial thought when I found about readability 2.0 admittedly was “Why in the world would I pay for something when I already have it? The internet is free!” But, that thinking is very old school.

In my ideal world, I would have the opportunity to pay for television completely ad-free. There are many reasons for this; perhaps I’ll talk more about it in a future post.  I know there is the apple tv, vudu, amazon video, etc. etc. I use these services quite extensively to purchase shows, but what about things like televised sports, news broadcasts, etc.?

I would love to see an internet that follows that same model. Authors should have the opportunity to make money writing quality content. Our current model has moved heavily towards quick posts to grab people’s attention and linking the snot out of content; image galleries being one example. I thoroughly enjoy when an author puts a lot of thought and time into an article; it’s a huge reason I follow perishable press’s blog, for example.

Part of my excitement of this ad-free internet with more in-depth writing probably has something to do with my recent reading of Fahrenheit 451. The author depicts a future where there are no books. It came to this point in the story by writers shortening things down, abridging them, and making them as easy to digest as possible. It was a very thought-provoking book, and honestly it was quite scary to see the similarities of our current society with the society depicted in this book.

So here is my plug. I am going to put my money where my mouth is and pay for this service. Sure, I could get it for free. However, If I can help in any way possible to keep away distracting ads and help to bring quality content to the internet, then I’m all for it. Maybe readability is the start of something big, and I definitely want to be a part of it.


  1. A thinkpiece! My first comment is a quick reaction to readability. I’ll comment again after work with something thoughtful. Is readability better than the Reader View in Safari? I use that all of the time. I’m in agreement with your willingness to pay for quality content.

    • I believe that the Readability code was open-sourced and that Apple used it to build their Reader View in Safari. I played around with the browser extension and new bookmarklet. They’ve got a lot of options, and I love the new integration with instapaper.

  2. Ok, i’m a little confused. can you provide a screen shot of how this changes a website? i’m always willing to pay for valuable services, I’m just a little behind on this interweb innovation


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