I just had the A-Ha moment with Pocket. For a couple weeks now, it operated simply as a secondary RSS reader to lump together content that wasn’t quite important enough to read ‘now’, but important enough not to be ignored. And as sexy as the UI is, and as seamless the experience is between phone, tablet and browser, I didn’t really get a ton of value out of it. And then through extended use, I had the a-ha moment. This thing just became a personal platform for content consumption… and I love it.
About Pocket (get Pocket, free, via iTunes) When you find something on the web that you want to view later, put it in Pocket. It automatically syncs to your phone, tablet, or computer so you can view it any time, even without an internet connection. New York Times, Business Week, and TechCrunch call it “DVR for the web.”
Content archival and social bookmarking isn’t new, but I’ve personally had a hard time jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve always found with Instapaper, Delicious, Readability, Read it Later and the like, while I always bookmarked content with the best intentions, the apps quickly became an abyss for content that just isn’t important or entertaining enough for me to read.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been using Pocket very much that same way. Between the Chrome extension, iOS apps, adding articles via email, integration with TweetBot and Flipboard… I’ve been saving a ton of stuff to Pocket. I’ve circled the wagons and went back to Pocket on a few occasions to dedicate time to reading those saved articles, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience with Pocket on the iPad, it was still functioning in large part like the slickest-looking content graveyard I’d ever used.
But then… I recently lost myself for a few hours in one sitting. It was one of those nights where in the heat of the NHL Playoffs there was a night off and I found myself in my HockeySpot… disappointed to find nary a game on the tube. So, there I sat in my dear HockeySpot, iPad in hand, eating up articles, videos and tweets in Pocket, marking things read, adding tags, sharing and tweeting, and organizing my little content farm. It was a time sink, but enjoyable.
That feeling of being a curator for an audience of one was an uplifting and satisfying one. And for my trouble, I actually appreciated a good chunk of that material previously relegated to the abyss.