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Current obsessions: Posterous and Instapaper

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First off, the FTC can go to hell because both these apps are free.* Second, I have to confess that I haven’t necessarily used either of these a whole lot, but I will because they’re awesome (I’ve played with them enough to know).

I found out about Posterous through my boss (who you should all get to know, as he seems to find everything). The gist is that you e-mail Posterous whaever you want and it automatically posts, like a blog. It can also automatically post to Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or pretty much anywhere else you can think of. You can start to imagine the journalism/reporting implications from here. My boss passed along this story about TwinCities.com using Posterous to basically power all their UGC for a couple specific events. They explain it all way better at the link, so I’ll let you read about that there. You should also check out Posterous’s FAQ, which will impress upon you how easy and all-encompassing it is.

Update: Here’s an interview Robert Scoble did with Posterous’s founders (Interesting: It’s pronounced “pah-ster-us,” as opposed to “poh-ster-us.” They explain why at the beginning):

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3890511&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Instapaper sharing in Tweetie 2

The "Read Later" button at the bottom saves to Instapaper.

I just signed up for my Instapaper account this morning; it, too, is extremely simple-yet-useful. Looking at something you want to save for later? Click the little “Read Later” bookmarklet and the page you were looking at saves to your Instapaper account (which you don’t even need a password to sign up for). Now I know this in itself isn’t entirely revolutionary—we’ve all got RSS readers, Delicious accounts or whatever that can fulfill this basic function. The difference is that this is all Instapaper is built for, which makes it a little more user friendly. There are also free and “pro” iPhone apps, which will allow you to read your posts offline, and, if you’re a Tweetie 2 user, T2’s browser lets you save posts directly to Instapaper (see inset).

I’ll admit that Instapaper is a bit of a…luxury item. It’s sort of like having a separate bag for your shoes instead of just jamming everything into your suitcase. But we’re talking about a Web/mobile app here, not material goods and physical space. I’ve actually been using it to help filter my Google Reader—I’ve cherry picked which posts I want to read, put them in Instapaper and “Mark All As Read’ed” the rest.

If I discover any new tricks for these two gems, I’ll post them here.

*Aside: I think anytime anyone blogs about a product just for the sake of telling people about the insane coolness of said product (not because they have a commercial stake in it), the blog should be prefaced with the general formula of that sentence.

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  • Acutally, it’s not as if Jayson were trying to make a journalistic comeback. He isn’t, so the A-Rod parallel is not quite accurate. For Jayson, it’s a second chance at a useful life.

  • Was this in response to my link to NPR’S interview with Jayson Blair? I realize Jayson isn’t trying to make a comeback in journalism, but not every analogy is perfect. My point was simply that athletes and celebrities seem to receive our forgiveness regularly…what’s different about a guy like Jayson Blair and why is he any less deserving? (Moreover, it was mostly rhetorical. We all know the answer—Jayson Blair never entertained us like an athlete or movie star, so we can banish him and never care again.)

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