I’ve been killing time the past couple of weeks with Digg and Reddit. Yes, I just recently discovered them. The Digg experience is more polished, but Reddit feels a little bit more real. They’re both essentially services where people submit links to interesting articles that are then voted on by the crowd - up or down - and the ones that the crowd finds more interesting naturally float to the top. Reddit’s edge for me though is that users can submit their own essays for display/storage on the site - sorta like the rants and raves section on Craigslist. The health care debate has been raging (literally) for the the past couple of weeks, and I find the discussion on articles and essays to be as good as the articles themselves.

Here’s a nice rant on the Blue Cross. I can certainly identify.

The beauty of Reddit is that it has a great iPhone app. It’s functionally just like the normal website, which is to say a little spartan in terms of design. The fantastico part of the app is it’s integration with InstaPaper. I discovered all of these services at the same time, since they basically feast off of each other (much like the tech press). InstaPaper is totally made for somebody like me. What it does is let you save stuff you want to read on the web, but don’t necessarily have the time for right then. You install a little bookmark in your browser which send the page to InstaPaper’s server. Their server then downloads the page (I think) and pulls it up for you when you go to the site later.

This is where it gets really good. Say you’re on the plane getting ready to pull back from the gate, about to lose cell service for however long. InstaPaper also has a great iPhone app that will pull the article off the server and cache it on your phone, meaning you don’t need access to the web to read the article. It even formats it for the iPhone by pulling the stuff from between the “content” div tags, which is presumably the article that you want to read, and does away with all the bells and whistles and CSS and ads and all that. The end result isn’t perfect, but it’ll keep you busy on the plane for a while.

So the process for me last week was this : Reddit find interesting article click Save to InstaPaper. Before I got on the plane open up InstaPaper and download everything I had marked for later. Kept me busy for most of the flight. Enjoy, news geeks…