And why you should start one too
If you are an avid reader, one of the things that you do quite often is sharing interesting reads with your friends and people you care about 1. And that’s definitely a great thing to do. But here’s the real problem that I quite often encounter because of this. It goes like this – I share a nice article with a friend (mostly over email or via sharing features inside apps like Pocket / Flipboard, etc.) and then forgot about it. As you can see, the link to those articles then get lost inside the sea of my email. Now in the future, if I want to refer and share those same articles to another friend / colleagues, I quite often find myself wasting time inside my mailbox locating the email in which I shared that article earlier. Or I try to Google the article’s keywords that anyways vaguely remember – all with a hope that I will find the exact link to that article. In fact, this problem many a times becomes so worse that I neglect to send these articles to friends who actually might be in acute need of it.
Ok. Let me elaborate it a bit further with an example – A couple of weeks back I came across quite an insightful case study on customer acquisition and various hacks around it. I shared it with my colleagues and a couple of friends within the startup circles. I then just forgot about this article. Then just yesterday during a chat with one of my friends, we started discussing about customer acquisition. I told him that he should read this specific article mentioning about the customer acquisition and I will forward him the link to it. After a couple of hours, when I sat in front of my laptop, I started to scout for that mail and even after spending more than 10 minutes looking for that email, I found none (do consider that I share a lot of reading / reference materials within my circles). I then started to think – Did I share that article via Flipboard or Pocket. Or was it via Secret’s a new app, Ping. This sheer waste of time really pissed me off. And I knew this was not the first time it has happened. That’s when I started looking for options.
- Create Notebook in Evernote with separate notes for each of the articles. But it turned out that would become too cumbersome – also because I avoid sharing articles that have random alpha-numeric string. By default, the shared URLs generated by Evernote random set of alphanumeric characters. Also I find it quite obstructing when a person opening the note you shared first sees a pop-up to signup for Evernote (though you can block it).
- Start bookmarking the articles (plus, categorizing them too) in my browser and when I want to share those articles with someone, copy them and send them over email. Again too cumbersome, esp. if I have multiple articles to share on a particular subject. This also is a bit strenuous since I have to think what articles would make sense to share for that particular subject matter.
I explored some other options too like creating a public Google Spreadsheet with each of the sheets as categories (SEO, programming, etc.) and pasting the URLs under that sheet. Nopes. Still cumbersome.
Looking for alternatives and what I zeroed upon
So, then I let myself firstly jot down what my ideal solution for this should be:
1. The solution should just be a one-time effort for me (requiring my efforts only during the first time I shared)
2. I can verbally refer someone to it rather than dropping them an email.
3. Over a period of time, there should be repository of these good articles which one can refer. This articles should properly be categorized and tagged making the discovery of them quite easier.
4. To the ones with whom I share the articles, they should also be able to further share those articles very quickly.
With this it has now become quite easier for me to refer people to my blog (links of which are available on all my public profiles) and from there they can find those specific articles. If at all I’m required to mail the link, the “Share via email” link at the end of every post comes in quite handy. All in all, it becomes quite easy to share and re-share the articles via the “Curated resources” section I’m building.
Do visit the curated resources section at http://shalinjain.in/resources and let me know what you think.