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Readability

Readability started out as a bookmarklet that turned hard-to-read articles on the web, with distractions like ads, call-outs, and other junk, and just focussed on the text. The website that built the bookmarklet for you let you choose text size and some colour schemes as well as as some choices around width of the article's text. In early 2011, it still maintains the bookmarklet but also launched a service for both readers and publishers. Readers can subscribe to the service for any amount they choose over $5 monthly. Readability first takes a cut, then gives the rest of the money to the publishers that the readers have read articles from. Fantastic! An economic incentive for publishers to deliver content in a readable way! I still have some questions around the service, though:
  • what percentage of a publisher's readership using and contributing to Readability will make it worth the publisher's while to make the articles available in a format friendly to Readability? Put another way, the publishers can still put distracting elements on their websites, but will this make it in their interest to, if they need to change something, make sure it works with Readability?
  • what percentage of publishers on the Internet will sign up and claim money flowing through Readability?
  • what percentage of publishers will have the technical know-how to be able to claim their website? It's fairly simple, as difficult to put a single HTML element on a website might be. 
  • how many publishers will note or even brag that they have enabled Readability on their website?
    • a badge or button?
    • maybe something in the HTML, some RDF that the Readability plugins can autodiscover and add a visual indication in the address bar
  • what's the best way for CMS to implement the various functionality of the web service?
    • claiming the site/domain
    • adding the buttons on the sidebar
    • implementing the API https://www.readability.com/publishers/api/
  • is a subdomain a separate domain? Thinking of stuff of WordPress.com blogs