SOCIAL BOOKMARKING
Over the last couple of days, I’ve been chatting to a couple of freelance/digital media types about social bookmarking. We all do it – pin recipes to check out later, bookmark an article in your browser or save it to Pocket. The general thought process is “Ooh that looks interesting, I’ll save it to read/watch later today/this week”

The big articles never get read.

They sit at the bottom of our To Do list, nagging at us to read them. Sure, some of them we will read. I tend to sit down each morning and catch up on the latest items in my apps, and YouTube feed. But there are still those articles that you never get round to – and they play on your conscious. I asked my group of Freelance Lifestyle ecoursers what percentage of articles they save to read later, and then never read. Answers range from 25% to 50%.

Why don’t we read those articles? Personally, the main reason I won’t go back and read an article is because it’s either too long or it’s something I feel I should read, but don’t actually want to. Short, snappy articles tend to get read in the moment, rather than put off. Ali-Camden-Smith from Over A Cuppa made a great point:

“Layout for me, if it is loads of text and no breaks my brain say’s save it till later and I don’t usually go back! So yes concentration wise it has to grab me straight away and look easily digestible too!  Video’s more than 4 mins I rarely get to the end unless it is really good!”

Recently, I’ve been going through my Pocket account and clearing out anything I haven’t bothered to read. Some of the articles in there were 1-2 years old! I’ve set myself a new rule. If I don’t read it within a week, the article goes in the (virtual) bin.  

The Freelance Lifestyle going forward

Time is one of the things we’re all limited on – but more so for freelancers and anyone who works online. Which has got me to thinking about the kind of content I’m creating here. I don’t want it to be the kind that clogs up your bookmarks or reading app. Short, snappy and helpful is the goal. So more ‘How To…’ posts, list posts and A-Zs of Freelancing. A new feature is coming soon to Fridays – A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer, interviews with a lovely bunch of creatives so you can have a peek into what other people do. There may be the odd long-form article, but only very occasionally. To be brutally honest, brevity is one of my strengths anyway (I was always the student at school who wrote articles based on hitting the lowest word count requirement, rather than squeezing it under the top word count limit)

I’ve also got a couple of plans up my sleeve for videos – three minute long videos (just enough to watch while you’re making a cup of tea).

One more thing….VEDA

Talking of videos – I’m going to be taking part in VEDA (Vlog Every Day In April). I can’t promise I’ll do every day, but it’s a great way to boost your experience of vlogging. Fancy joining me? I’m going to be joining Savvy Sexy Social’s VEDA, with an editorial calendar packed full of ideas for what to vlog about.

6 comments on “The problem with bookmarking to read later…”

  1. Ha, I am glad I am not the only one in this situation! I’ve looked in my “to read” pile, the oldest post is from March 2013. It’s high time I catch up reading the articles I do want to read, and get rid of those I never intended to! Thanks for the reminder 😉

    • Once you hit ‘delete’ once or twice, it gets so much easier! I’ve started to do the same with books and audiobooks I’m not loving – unless I can’t wait to read it, I dump it now.

  2. For me ‘read later’ just adds to my guilt pile! I have tried lots of different ways to ‘clip’ even Pocket but nothing seems to work for me. I agree though, it needs to be snappy so I can read it there and then.

  3. I love the sound of all the posts you have lined up for the future! I’ve actually come up with a system that makes me read the things I bookmark – if I use the Evernote webclipper I can file the article into a category of my choice, and it makes them feel much less intimidating. I know in the past I used the bookmark feature on my web browser and I had hundreds and hundreds of things on my list… One day I just forced myself to go through and delete almost everything.

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