Ever since I got a Kindle, I read a lot more. And it turns out that it’s not just great for re-reading the old classics or long PDFs I never had the nerve to read on screen, it’s also a very convenient way to get my daily dosage of news.
These days, first thing in the morning I turn on my Kindle and read my personalized newspaper, hot off the press.
Here’s how (and why) I use a free and customizable way to feed subscriptions to my Kindle every day with Instapaper.
An Avalanche Of 1-Star Reviews: e-Ink ain’t Paper
If you take a look at the Kindle store under Newsstand you’ll find a lot of bad reviews. At the time of this writing, a subscription of TIME magazine which costs $2.99 per month has 95 reviews, 36 (!) of them only 1 star. Bottom line: almost 38% of reader don’t seem happy.
And it’s not only TIME. Amazon’s Newsweek subscription has 52 reviews, 23 of them outraged. NYT has 91 bad reviews out of 375…
I think a core problem here is that people expect the Kindle subscription to be the same (or very similar) to the paper experience. But what if a Kindle subscription could be something completely different, not just a daily lump from the same editorial board, but a highly customized and personalized newspaper which includes all your favorite blogs, magazines and more?
Kindle Subscriptions: The KindleFeeder Way
If you google the topic you’ll immediately stumble over a service called kindlefeeder.com. It allows you to choose from a variety of different feeds and then send them to your Kindle.
At first I was very excited, but then I noticed a few things:
- automatic delivery is only for premium users (and there’s no other plan than $19 per month)
- there’s no way to share articles to my networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- some of the feeds don’t display full articles but only snippets
- sometimes the formatting of the articles was broken
After experimenting with this for a few days I decided to look for another way.
A Lean Mean Reading Machine: The Free & Social Way
The heart of this system is Instapaper because it allows you to send automatic updates for free and is wonderfully streamlined for sharing to virtually any social network.
First of all, let me show you a little chart of how I got it set up. Then I’ll walk you through the steps:
1. Check if there’s a new feed item and if yes, send it to Instapaper
2. Tell Instapaper to automatically send you a collection of your unread articles
3. Read & Share via Instapaper
This is how the process works. Simple, isn’t it?
A Step By Step Tutorial
1. Sign up for instapaper
Under “Account” click Manage my Kindle Settings
2. Set up Sharing under Account
3. Sign up for ifttt.com
4. Activate Instapaper under Channels -> Instapaper (direct link)
In our example we will be adding the feed to odditycentral.com. Here’s how the recipe looks like:
You can put your own feed where it says “Feed Url” but for example’s sake you can also just hit “create task”
5. Repeat the same procedure with different feeds. If the blog/newspaper you want to read on your Kindle doesn’t offer full feeds, you might find this little tool here helpful. Simply put the feed URL in there first and then add the url they give you to your ifttt recipe.
6. If you’ve done everything right, you’ll now get your personalized, custom newspaper delivered to your Kindle every morning at 5am.
7. Whenever you read an article you like, hit “LIKE” on your Kindle and it automatically goes to the networks you selected in step 2.
here are some screenshots of how it looks like on your Kindle and how you can use it.#
in the beginning and at the end of each article you’ll find the following buttons:
clicking like will “broadcast” this article through the channels set up in your instapaper account.
In addition to that, at the end of all the articles, you’ll find the following two buttons:
clicking “archive all” will make sure you won’t get the articles sent another time. “Download Newest” will order a fresh supply from your Instapaper unread list.