My favourite browser plugin is 'readability;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The beauty is that there is already a well established format for writing, managing and publishing structured content: OPML.
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])
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.
The auto-discovery also already exists btw.