The time of Yakread is at hand

Last week I started building a reader app. I'm calling it "Yakread."

So far I've made this "Connections" page. You can connect to various kinds of content sources, and then Yakread will merge it all into one feed. So far Yakread supports email newsletters, RSS, and Pocket bookmarks. For my own use, I also plan to add Twitter, Hacker News, Reddit, and ebooks. And then I'll add any other sources that are requested enough by users.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

A couple extra notes:

I think it’d also be interesting to do some kind of tight integration with paid newsletters. I’m not sure exactly what that would look like (bundles? affiliate fees?), but in general I’d like Yakread to help increase the number of dollars that go to writers.

Yakread wouldn’t necessarily have to do anything extra here. If the core product is good, it’ll increase the amount of time that people spend reading newsletters, which will lead to more paid subscriptions. And that will get reflected in the price of advertising: if it’s known that Yakread users are more likely than average to upgrade to paid newsletters, then advertisers will be willing to bid higher for ad placements. In addition, we can detect which of our users are already receiving paid newsletters, which will help with ad targeting.

And finally: I’d like any network-type features of Yakread to be provided by The Sample. For example, perhaps when you sign up for Yakread, your address gets subscribed to The Sample as well. …

In the same vein, I’d like The Sample to be the default “discovery provider” for Yakread. If someone else makes a reader app and wants the same discovery features, they can also use The Sample as a discovery provider. And if someone makes a different discovery provider, you can go into your Yakread settings and use that instead of The Sample.

Similarly, we might not need to add any additional integration beyond what Yakread will already have. Since The Sample is structured as a newsletter, you can already set it as your “discovery provider” for any reader app that works with email newsletters. Anyone else who wants to be a discovery provider can do it the same way, by structuring their offering as a newsletter (which they’ll want to do anyway so they can reach everyone on traditional email apps, which is currently 99%+ of the market). This way it’s not even an either-or thing: you can subscribe to as many “discovery provider” newsletters as you want. Yakread will automatically hone in on the ones you actually engage with.

The question is, would Yakread benefit from having discovery even more tightly integrated into the UI somehow? I don’t know. Wait and see I guess.

The question is, would Yakread benefit from having discovery even more tightly integrated into the UI somehow? I don’t know. Wait and see I guess.

After more thought I guess it depends on the “network-type features” in question. Discovery is just one of those. That possibly works just fine structured as a newsletter/regular content source. Other network features include:

  • ad network. Rather than having an ad system built into Yakread, maybe I expand the ad system on The Sample and then have Yakread plug into that. Then other reader apps (or newsletters, or whatever) can also plug in and use The Sample to sell their ad space.
  • one-click signups. e.g. a big advantage of substack is that as long as you’ve signed up for at least one substack newsletter already, your address is already saved when you sign up for another one. You don’t even have to type in your email. That also powers their recommendations. If you wanted to have similar features for newsletters on, say, Revue and Mailchimp, you’d need a way for them to say “we trust each other” so that their subscribers can sign up for each others’ newsletters at once. The Sample can provide that. if you wanted to recommend other newsletters on The Sample, you could include an embedded signup form from The Sample after your own signup form. or something. (Maybe even use an embedded signup form from The Sample as your main signup form–that would let us autofill people’s email addresses like Substack does).

Neither of those things would need to be configurable by Yakread’s users though. So maybe it’s more like “users pick their discovery providers by subscribing to various content sources, and app creators can choose what network(s) to have their app plug into for the other stuff”