Over email, Jake observed that the apps I like are all readers that let me read what I want and get out of the way. Anil noted that none of these apps are actually taking on the entire “rip, mix, burn” cycle. What I am looking for is really the “iTunes of news, when iTunes was good.”
I'm glad David likes Leapfrog enough to mention it as a favorite, and the idea of the “rip, mix, burn” cycle for the written web (a news cycle, hur) is a useful analogy.
Some of these activities can be integration points for Leapfrog. An Instapaper “Read Later” button will probably be part of the long post support once we figure out how that should work. While we could add a Google Reader input to Leapfrog, people (by whom I mean me) tend to subscribe to an order of magnitude more stuff in Reader and skim. Reeder is good for that, and the impedance mismatch to what your immediate contacts share/post means Leapfrog probably shouldn't try.
(I'm not sure how this “River of News” app compares to Reeder, but it's odd that they'd name their app after the reading mode advanced users of Google Reader don't want. I guess they thought it was a good name anyway.)
Really, though, Leapfrog doesn't let you do any news mixing. Once you select what streams to take as input, it performs the mixing as an automated process. A “mix” step for you to take is more like the project box I mentioned for Leapfrog's blogging complement: rip media (by value or reference) into the box, mix it together in your head, and burn it into your own blog post.
For that matter, Pinboard is almost that, but as Matt Haughey points out:
Pinboard extends the functionality of Delicious to any links [from several ancillary sources,] but like Instapaper, that works best as a personal archiving appliance that you use personally to dig up a story about raising kids you read six months ago at the New York Times. But when you combine extensive personal archiving with a public view mixed into a network of shared links from dozens of friends, you get a mish-mash of bookmarks, jokes from twitter, and wacky sites someone liked in Google Reader. As a personal archive tool, it's pretty impressive, as a shared space to find interesting bookmarks, it's problematic.
Lots of people use Delicious as a substitute linkblog, but if you use it to collect—the “antisocial” behavior Pinboard encourages—you see the inside of everyone's mixing bowl instead of the fully baked result. That only scales to your closest contacts.
If the link is the atomic unit of sharing, the project box is like a Pinboard where you can tag the links into your draft posts. (If the snippet is the atomic unit, you're probably better off with OneNote or Evernote—that's a big problem for a blogging app to tackle.) Then when your remixed post is done, it's a new item that everyone else can read and save to remix, and the circle of
life news continues.
The moon/finger comment David mentions is here in this post.