Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Home >  Archive >  2011 >  December >  10

Previous / Next

The Ad Free Web
By Adam Curry on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 8:41 AM.
My favourite browser plugin is 'readability; permalink
Whenever I hit a page that has those annoying ads that animate and slide over the content (with increasing frequency lately) I immediately hit the readability button and within a few seconds I am presented with a beautiful ad free rendering of just the content. Its pure magic. A lovely font and a slightly sepia shaded background make for an enjoyable read . As a bonus, when a story is broken up into multiple pages, presumably to present more annoying ads, it is displayed on a single page. permalink
The readability folks clearly put a lot of effort into figuring out exactlty what the content is on a page, as well as how to make the most enjoyable experience for the reader. I salute them for this. permalink
Unfortunately I don't think they will survive. Sites will eventually block this practice to protect their 'business model' and readability has no obvious winning model of their own. permalink
There is however a different approach to this, that I believe could change the readability of the web, with a model that can compensate content producers. permalink
Content producers provide their content in a format that any browser can parse and put the users's own rendering preferences on top of. Aceess to this'raw' version of the content would be behind a paywall. permalink
Speaking for myself, I would love to read the New York Times in a layout and view I create myself, or buy from a designer. I can imagine some would love to see the NYTimes rendered like the USA Today site. Most certainly without the increasingly annoying advertising. permalink
The beauty is that there is already a well established format for writing, managing and publishing structured content: OPML. permalink
After some googling, I see that this format is widely misunderstood. It is primarily viewed as a format to store rss feeds in a list. I can assure you it is a LOT more useful for content creators than that. In fact, I have been writing my blog in opml for a year now, including this post ([image] [opml-source]) permalink
What we need to boot up this parallel universe, this sub-net if you will, is a plugin that does the rendering as described above. Make it seamless, have it auto discover a page that has an opml version and supply a default tempate that can be customized.  permalink
The auto-discovery also already exists btw. permalink
It could (re)start an entire industry of designers, writers and content management and aggregator developers. permalink

This site contributes to the community river.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Adam Curry. Last update: Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 2:51 AM GMT. Last build: 5/8/2012; 2:46:34 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for

Previous / Next