Readability On The Big Web Show

June 15, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

I really enjoy Zeldman's show and think he is very smart. On the other hand, I've never heard so much stammering trying to justify Readabilities business. I would have respected the opinions more if both he and Richard Ziade (CEO of Readability) were just honest. They should just say: "we don't care what anyone thinks. Readability will make money anyway they want off of the web. Suck it." That's a stand, not a justification. This podcast was just awkward. It's like someone trying to justify muggings.

Questions broached:

  1. What's the consequence of stripping ads on the authors?
  2. Can Readlists be used to repackage someone else's work and sell it?
  3. Why do so few people come to Readabilities defense?
  4. Why don't you contact publishers directly to offer the money you are "saving" for them?
  5. Are there legal consequences to the NYT signing up with Readability?
  6. How do you plan to make money?

Answers Provided:

  1. We're innovating
  2. Yes
  3. We're doing R&D
  4. It would look like we were favoring some sites
  5. They're afraid of innovation
  6. We plan to create value

I still respect Zeldman a lot. He asked some hard questions but I think he let Richard ho-hum around and get out of providing answers to the questions. I don't think Richard is evil. I just think he's afraid to own what Readability is doing.