Readability Gives Away The Money
I love Readability. It’s super easy to use, syncs between any screen I have available to me and makes sending articles to my Kindle easier than any other service I’ve used. Not to mention it’s beautiful.
Turns out it was also built on a model of taking money from readers and giving it to the publishers of the content. A trade-off between cutting out the ads that get in the way of reading and the need to support the writers who create the content we love to read. Too bad it didn’t work.
90% of the publishers that own the millions of domains that have passed through Readability haven’t signed up with Readability. Of course not. I guarantee at least 50% of the pages I put into Readability don’t know about it at all — after all, I put them in Readability because they never thought about what it would be like to read their 12-page, ad-infested article on an iPad.
Now that Readability figured out it doesn’t work, they’re giving away the money they collected (which should go to publishers). I get that it’s too hard to even reasonably verify the owners of domains in the anonymous culture of the Internet, but I’m not sure I understand why Readability can’t just give the money back. Good for them that it’s going to charities, but it seems like an easy out to not have to deal with the refund process. In the end, readers paid with the understanding that the money would go to the publishers. If the publishers haven’t collected, or the money can’t be distributed… send it back to the readers.
Or maybe they’re just trying to assuage the haters in the comments section.