We've received great feedback on the new Read Soon feature: many users have expressed their frustration with "read it later" services and like the idea behind Read Soon. That makes us happy – thanks!
Some users have asked for reminders... That works well as a first step towards our vision of a smart "reading assistant", so here you go:
The Read Soon reminder email will be sent on weekends and will remind you of links you added recently. Remember: Links on Read Soon will drop off the list after two weeks (and get tagged read someday).
Ideally, the reminder should come at the right time and in the right context – we're working on that :)
Introducing Read Soon
We’ve recently rolled out a new feature: Read Soon. While it’s super simple to use, we’d like to explain the idea behind it and how it relates to “read it later” services on our Medium post:
Today we've released a new version of the Chrome extension. The improvements are subtle but useful:
You can now add links to your read soon list directly from the extension. (We've still not properly announced the read soon feature yet. This will follow... soon. ;)
You can now save selected text of the web page as a private note, with one click.
Improved rendering of the Google search result.
Improved styling (re: tags typeahead, recipients when sharing via email, etc.)
The latest version is 1.2.0 and it should update automatically next time you start Chrome. You can check which version you have here: chrome://extensions.
Safari and Firefox will follow soon.
As announced last week, links are now fully editable and searchable. You can:
Edit the title
Add/edit the description
Add unlimited tags
Add unlimited private notes
Simply click on the "More" icon (arrow/caret down) on links you've saved to access the edit options.
Smart topics automatically organize your links into topics. Refind comes with a number of pre-defined topics, and now you can add your own.
Add a topic and define the tags that describe it, and matching links will automatically be categorized. Also, you can remove pre-defined topics as you like.
Head over to your profile to see your topics.
3 new features
This week is full of news... but we're not very talkative since we're heads down working on a redesign. Here's what we've recently rolled out. We'll properly announce each new feature over the next days, the first in an hour or so.
1. Smart topics
Refind comes with a number of pre-defined topics, and now you can add your own. Smart topics automatically organize your links. Head over to your profile to see your topics.
2. Edit links
You can now also edit the page title and add a description by clicking the "More" icon (arrow down) under links you've saved. With the recent features "private notes" and "unlimited tags", links are now fully editable and searchable.
3. Read later
The star in the top right corner links to your reading list. Click the star icon on links you've saved and they will appear there. We recommend you add only links you intend to read soon. All others are doing fine in your link collection – you'll find them again when you actually need them, for example when you search on Google."
Tips for noobs
We're now showing some practical tips to get started as part of the onboarding. If you're not a noob but still want to see them, you can show them via the user menu on the top right ("Show tips").
Better keyboard support
We've just improved keyboard support: when you visit refind.com, press SPACE or UP/DOWN to scroll in your feed. Press TAB to set the focus to the search box.
An occasional quote in your feed. Get inspired! :)
Introducing: Smart topics
tl;dr Smart topics automatically organize your links into topics. We've just released v1; head over to your profile page and have a look (example: https://refind.com/doodlemyke/topics).
We strive for simplicity, so one-click saving and simple tagging are key. We don't believe in the traditional way of filing links into folders, yet we always wanted to have an organized link collection. This is why we're working on smart topics and we've just released the first step.
With smart topics, your links get organized automatically, according to tags on the links (the 3 top tags and your own). You can influence which topic a link gets sorted in by tagging properly. Look at the catchall topic "Other": if you find links in there that you'd like to see in a topic, simply tag them appropriately and reload.
You have topics if you've saved more than 10 links and if they match with one of the existing topics. In a next step, you'll be able to remove topics and add new ones. Also, since your profile is public, you can share a link to your profile or directly to any topic page with everyone (example: https://refind.com/chrismessina/topics/bots), even people who are not on Refind yet.
This is a first step and we have many ideas that build on top of it. Let us know what you think!
Add as many tags as you like
We dropped the 3 tags limit. A link now has: - The top 3 tags used by anyone - Your tags, as many as you like
Add private notes
We have a new, often requested feature for you: You can now add private notes to a link. You can add as many notes as you like, they're fully searchable and displayed right below links.
Click the pencil icon to add a new note:
Or click the Notes action in the browser extension:
We've just made Refind a few hundred milliseconds faster here and there! Scroll or open links and you should feel it – especially on mobile!
(If you don't have the mobile app yet, get it here: iOS or Android).
The Refind Bot analyzes your links to make personalized recommendations. Interactions with links are (generally) positive signals (e.g., a save). And now you can also provide negative signals explicitly:
I've already seen this
Train the Refind Bot so it gives you more personalized recommendations.
These feedback signals are actually part of a broader concept that we now use throughout Refind – not only for recommendations. You can provide the following (negative) signals for links in general by clicking the arrow on links:
I've already seen this
This is spam
This is offensive
Providing these signals has the following effects:
The link disappears from your feed and will no longer show up.
The Refind Bot learns your preferences (or dislikes, in this case) and tries to make better recommendations in the future.
It improves Refind's link quality in general as we learn about spam/offensive links quickly.
Happy Signaling! :)
Better search: Episode 2
Refind's index contains already close to 1 million curated links – curated by all of you – and we're seeing increasing search traffic. So today's news should delight many: We've just aired episode 2 of a longer series of search improvements, and it's a juicy one...
That's episode 2. More episodes are coming soon. :) Try the new search and let us know what you think here: @refindcom! Thanks.
Introducing the Refind Bot
Refind adds a new dimension to discovery with personalized recommendations. The Refind Bot analyzes your links and – every now and then – digs out a must-read classic specifically for you and inserts it into your feed. The more links you save, the more personalized recommendations you'll get.
There'll be about one recommendation per day, inserted directly into your home feed. It looks like this:
Read some of the best links for founders, hackers, and designers over the Easter break. Or – if you're all busy hunting eggs – save them to Refind and you'll find them again when you actually need them.
The tag page is not only interesting when looking at another user, but also when looking at your own links. Again, this is a very basic start and we'd like to learn what additional mechanisms you need/want to organize and browse your own links.
Looking forward to more of your input. Thanks!
Little details we could improve? We're in spring cleaning mode before tackling the next big feature. All inputs welcome!
Share your profile with non-Refinders!
Refind is invite-only but your profile is now publicly accessible on the web:
Links on Refind are public and in the long run, we'll open up Refind for everyone. Until now, only Refind users could look at your profile and browse/search all your links.
Now you can show your profile to everyone – Refind user or not. For example, add the link to your profile in your Twitter bio or your homepage, or simply send it to the next person who asks about your best links on topic X (a very common use case, as it seems!).
We're rolling out notifications!
You'll never miss shared links or new followers again. Imagine a secretary that keeps track of important events for you.
This is a start and we'll finetune, add new type of events, and make it customizable over time. Tell us what you think!
A simpler layout
We've cleaned up the layout, mainly feed and sidebar. #lessclutter
On hover (actions + more friends):
Score 100: check!
But Website Grader is too nice – there's still lots of room for improvement!
We're often asked how to find great people to follow. We already have a few ways but we're constantly working on improving this and today there's a new way – effortless and simple.
After saving a link on the home feed (https://refind.com, when you're signed in), from now on, you'll sometimes see a person you might enjoy following under the link – in most cases, it's the featured saver (the user you see on the left of a link) of your featured saver (the user they see/saw when saving the link); that is, the one person via whom your friend has most likely discovered that link... Thus, it's probably a meaningful suggestion :) Note that this is a simplified version of what's actually going on.
That looks something like this:
Similarly, from time to time you might now see a suggestion for whom to share a link after just saving it.
A share suggestion is a mutual friend who hasn't seen or saved that link yet but who's interested in that topic... Share suggestions should be rare and meaningful (only if the link is really good or your friend might really enjoy it). It's a complex query that contains some parameters to play around with – let us know if it requires tuning ;)
That looks something like this:
iOS and Android Tuning
We've polished the mobile apps a bit, including:
Sticky menu, mainly so you can always access the search box and reload the page by clicking on the logo.
If you don't have the app yet, get it for iOS or Android.
Link Actions: Pocket, Instapaper, Facebook, and Buffer
On every link, we show the following actions:
Save (to Refind)
In addition, you can now add a few more actions of services you use:
Note: We're continuously improving search – as the name suggests, this is a core feature of Refind!
Follow great founders, hackers, and designers
We've put together lists of great people to follow. Follow Chris Messina, Dan Ariely, Rodrigo A. Sepúlveda Schulz, Tariq Krim, Andreas Ehn, Daniel Buchmueller, Severin Hacker, Florian Hanke, Myke Naef, Toni Schneider, Mike Butcher, Johannes Reck, and many others...
Import your bookmarks
We've rewritten the importer. Import links from your browser, or from services like Instapaper, Delicious, Digg, Kippt, Pinboard, etc. Note: Links do NOT get saved automatically. You choose which links you want to save.
A number of UX experts suggest that links generally shouldn't open in a new window... but acknowledge that it depends. Links open in the same window on Google, but in a new one on Twitter and Facebook. Arguably, the behavior is quite a bit different: on Twitter and Facebook (and Refind) one is likely to browse and open a couple of links, whereas one searches a specific link on Google and leaves.
Refind + Pocket
We've improved our Pocket integration. Refind and Pocket are complementary. In fact, we use both in combination. Learn more on Medium
4.5% of users have invites
4.5% of users get invites to invite new users. And they get suggestions for whom to invite based on a number of metrics.
Back to invite-only
The three days are over and we switched back to invite-only.
Mini-launch on Product Hunt
For three days only, skip the line and join before everyone else.