Web article behind paywall

Under that the new feature in version 3.2 is Automatically add web bookmarks to Instapaper and GoodLinks (v. 1.3.1) for Hook Pro users. Just wondering how this would work for web links pointing to articles that are only accessible behind paywall

My understanding: When you bookmark a page via Instapaper, Instapaper does not transfer your locally cached webpage to their service; instead, the Instapaper web service accesses the remote page and associates the content with your account.

Instapaper and GoodLinks do not allow you to authenticate to websites through them (and then to store credentials in them to various websites), which is what they would need to do in order to access and archive content on your behalf.

It’s not just paywalled sites that are affected by this limitation; it is any website that requires you to login.

That’s where converting files to PDFs and storing them in Finder or in cloud would come in. DEVONthink and EagleFiler both have web capture tools. You could then hook the remote web page to your local copy (we at CogSci Apps will look at automating that hooking). In my Cognitive Productivity books, I discuss the advantages of converting files to PDF, such as that you can then use a best of breed PDF reader. I also illustrate some categorical annotation techniques that go beyond color-highlighting (e.g., to mark something as “important”, “I don’t understand”, “I disagree”) so that you can later filter and act on content (e.g., reviewing important or misunderstood stuff; resolving disagreements; take actions for your own papers).

Still, the bookmarking software has value. By bookmarking webpages online you get access to the title and in case of some bookmarking software, the URL. So you can re-access the original from multiple devices.

I myself use bookmarking software and I also convert some stuff to PDF. As noted, a Hook companion is coming to iPad/iPhone, so that you can search your bookmarks directly via it.

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Thanks for the informative details. I believe Goodlinks and Instapaper behave differently when it comes to paywalled content.

Goodlinks now enables log in to paywalled sites

For Instapaper, if the link is bookmarked from the desktop site, is SHOULD (but I have not been able to personally verified that yet) store the content permanently . See this link

Raindrop.io also has similar feature called permanent library

However, I do not know whether Raindrop.io enables log in to sites like Goodlinks

The reason for asking this is that I want to get the content stored so that I can still access them after I stop paying for the subscription one day to the paid services. Not sure what is the best way to do this

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ah thanks for reminding me. I thought that I had seen that feature in release notes but couldn’t find it in the UI ( preferences) so concluded otherwise. Now I see it is in File > Login to Sites...

yes, that makes sense in the context of the web browser extension. I haven’t used that feature myself.

I have continued to test the hook connection to pinboard, goodlinks and instapaper.

Pinboard is straightforward as it is plainly a bookmark collection site, not much to get out from there apart from the search function.

Adding to Goodlinks is easy and the web content is added silently, even the app is not active (provided that I entered the log in details to sites requiring that beforehand)

Adding to Instapaper is more interesting. I have the app not active when I invoke Hook. Then when I open the Mac app, it asked me whether to add the link. Strangely, when I pressed cancel, the link is added anyway (already there before the app was opened)

That looks like an Instapaper dialog box. Does it keep coming up for every bookmark, or is it a one time only.

If in Hook > Preferences > Services you’ve enabled Bookmarking to other software, Hook will continue to try to add bookmarks to that software until you disable it in Hook preferences


It is indeed a dialog box from Instapaper. I definitely have the Instapaper option enabled as I wanted the bookmarked to be added there. This dialog box comes up every time I hooked the link to Instapaper when the app is not active.

I continue to try 3 apps (Goodlinks, Raindrop.io, Instapaper) to test their performance and functionality. After my brief test, my conclusion is that Goodlinks is by far the most effective “read-it-later” app, the links appear almost instantaneously, it is most atheistically pleasing. However, there is one major drawback. It does not store permanent copy of the web content (not to my knowledge anyway). To offset this shortcoming, there is no subscription fee YET. May be the permanent copy will be available once the subscription model is turned on.

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right. and it’s not caused by Hook talking to the app, because Hook does not talk to Instapaper app, it talks to the Instapaper server. So instapaper is responding to URLs have been added to the service.