Too Long; Didn’t Read

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We have a limited amount of time to catch up on the day’s news as a student. Between our classes, the sports schedules and all of our extra curricular activities – our reading time could be limited to just a minute at any given time. I use tools like Instapaper to help keep track of things I want to read, but that doesn’t create time later to actually read long articles.

TL;DR stands for “Too long; didn’t read.” It’s a message to the author of a given piece that their article was too long, and didn’t warrant the time of the reader. This may seem cruel, but it’s really just a manifestation of our inability to focus on paragraphs longer than three sentences while on the Internet.

So what can you do? You still would like to get caught up on the news, whether it be world, tech, design or sports. Several websites and companies have tried to fix this very problem. By summarizing an article down to just a sentence or two, they provide you with a quick way to browse the news. This lets you get the facts and then, if you have time, click through to the longer piece.

I’ve used several of these websites, and currently have a list of favourites you should check out:


TLDR website

These guys are the best. Short, succinct stories, with a click-through link to the actual piece if you have time to read. Plus, they have topics covering everything from sports to world news.


summly website

Following a similar pattern as TL:DR (although Summly actually launched first), this service comes in the form of an iPhone app with a unique UI that let’s you swipe between stories. Although I’m not a total fan of the way you interact with the app, it’s summaries are well crafted and efficient.

Evening Edition

evening edition website

The Evening Edition is a website and email newsletter that delivers the top couple world news stories with a paragraph of smart commentary. I’ve subscribed to the EE, and getting an email with the stories + commentary is a great way to go about reading them when you have time.

The Brief

the brief website

Following the steps of the Evening Edition, The Brief focuses more on technology news than world. The articles here are high quality, no link-baiting or garbage articles, and the writing is well done. If you enjoy technology, or are looking to expand your knowledge in that field, I’d recommend you subscribe.

There are plenty of other services that let you get a bite-sized version of the news, but these are some of my favourites right now. We have limited time to actually catch up on important news in the world, but these websites and apps help us keep, what I call, a responsible minimum of awareness.

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