This is the first article in a series of articles where I discuss my long-time side project, Unearth. Topics will include the motivation behind building Unearth, what it is, how it works, and the technology behind it to name a few. Check back often for future updates.
Too Much Content, Too Little Time
Many Redditors, myself included, like to save posts and comments that make us a feel some type a way. Whether it's a funny meme, a recipe for a delicious meal, or an in-depth programming tutorial, we don't always have the time to act on the media we consume. So, with good intentions, we save it for later. The problem is: later never comes. Consumption of media has become an all-consuming act and rarely do we remember to go back and look at our saved things with what little time we have on our hands.
That's when I thought: maybe all we need is a simple nudge or reminder every so often that surfaces the content for us, similar to Timehop.
My solution to this issue of rediscovering saved content is (what I think is aptly named) Unearth. It's a service that sends users a personalized newsletter with a handful of their Reddit saves at the frequency of their choice. No longer can we place the blame on our forgetfulness—with Unearth, we can be shown some of our Reddit saves as frequently as every day.
There are a couple reasons why Reddit was chosen as the initial platform to surface saved content. For starters, I, myself, am a Redditor and have saved over 800 items since joining the site seven years ago. The second reason is due to Reddit's own technical limitations. It's widely known yet not totally understood that only the most recent thousand saved items can be accessed/viewed. Once you go past those thousand items, the oldest content disappears in order to make space for the newer saves.
A majority of the content I save could be beneficial for me at some point in my life, however, even I know I don't need all of those saved things. So Unearth's purpose is two-fold: not only does it surface content frequently for you, but it also helps you manage your saved things by encouraging you to unsave unneeded content.
Although Reddit was initially chosen, the great thing about Unearth is that its core functionality can be extended to many different platforms or services which offer access to users' data. Since showing off Unearth to a handful of people, I've already had people ask me to extend this to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Hacker News in order to surface their likes and bookmarks.
If Unearth sounds like something you would find useful, sign up today and give it try. I would love to hear your thoughts about the service and any other questions or comments you may have.