For all the latest Clipmarks news and updates, please visit http://clipmarks.wordpress.com
We've just released an updated version of the Clipmarks clipping tool for Firefox and Flock. With this version, as you create a clip, you're notified when you exceed the 2,000 character pop-limit. Also, the status bar of your browser now displays a running total of the number of characters you've selected and how much under/over the pop-limit you are. We'll have an updated version available for Internet Explorer soon.
A few changes to report...
FYI....we uploaded a bunch of pictures to flickr. You can check them out here.
Lastly, we experienced some problems on the site this morning as we were getting set to upload. Those have been fixed and everything is up and running. I'm very sorry to anyone was affected!
A few quick updates to let everyone know about:
On the 3d of August I sat at my desk to compose a blog post introducing a new Clipmarks web site that we were very excited about. If someone would have told me then that 40 days later I'd be composing another post to introduce a brand new web site I would have responded by saying something like "no way, no how...you're crazy!" Well, here I am, an hour or so before a brand new, entirely rewritten and redesigned Clipmarks web site goes live.
It was in September, 2005 that we first introduced Clipmarks. When I look back on the year that's passed, a few key things come to mind. One, is that we have really worked our asses off trying to create something special. For that, I'm very proud. Second, we have been supported by some of the greatest people in the world. Our users have inspired us through their constant honesty, interest and passion for what Clipmarks is all about. I have not had the chance to meet many of you, but I consider you my friends. For that, I am forever grateful! Third, I think it took us an entire year of ups and downs, starts and stops, excitement and disappointment, to clearly realize our vision and create a web site that accurately reflected it. For this, I'm a bit embarrassed, but mostly I'm excited and relieved.
I also want to say that the creativity and hard work of others have helped keep the fire burning inside us. We have great respect for the folks at del.icio.us, digg, reddit and others who have developed services aimed at putting the power of the web into the hands of the people who use it. That is our vision and we hope to be a meaningful contributor to making it a reality.
And so, a full year after we first introduced Clipmarks, and 40 days after introducing what I thought was a major upgrade, I am proud, excited and a little nervous to introduce a brand new, built-from-scratch, Clipmarks web site. I hope you enjoy it!
Here's an overview of some of the changes involved with the new site:
This is a big one. Here's a sample of what's new.
We hope you like the new site!!!
My interpretation of this move is, “we can’t innovate so we’ll just try to bribe people into leaving other services that kick our ass.” Calacanis says that quality is the number one factor that creates winners in this industry. Um, how about marketing? Did AOL explode because their service was the highest quality or might it have been all those free cds they gave away? Is Windows the dominant operating system because it’s so much better than Mac or because their marketing strategy was better? The point, quality does not necessarily equal success.
What really bothers me about this move (and Jason’s editorial about it) is that it spits on the spirit of the web. Many of us feel that traditional media/journalism is no longer sufficient because of the inherent conflicts that arise when your core objective is making money, not creating quality content. I believe that is the primary catalyst behind the growth in citizen journalism (a.k.a. user generated content). If Jason wants to create another web site where people are paid to create the content he is free to do that. But let’s call a spade a spade. I think that already exists on countless AOL properties. What the heck is new about this idea…other than the fact that he so shamelessly seeks to bribe people into leaving other services that are genuinely innovative? Oh, and lets not discount the exposure this move is providing him (heck, I’ve already wasted my morning thinking about it and now writing about it).
Look, this might help make AOL more money and give Jason Calacanis more of the spotlight, so kudos to him if those are his objectives. But I think it’s highly disturbing that America Online is supporting this move to bribe people from using competitive services. My advice to them would be, “for once, just try to create something truly innovative instead of letting people like Jason Calacanis try to pay people for using your services.”
Lastly, I want to say very clearly that I respect what digg is trying to accomplish. They are the pioneers of user powered content. The clipmarks approach is quite different from theirs, but the essence, spirit and soul of what we hope to accomplish is quite similar. Our dream is to create a platform that people can use to shape their own media experience in a highly collaborative environment instead of being pushed the content that “big media” wants them to see.
I recently posted a clipmark about this issue and wanted to follow up based on the responses it received. It seems clear that there are 2 distinct reasons for clipping. One is for personal archiving and the second is for sharing with the community. Sometimes both of these come into play with a clip and sometimes only one does.
My vision for clipmarks has always been to create a global information exchange where people can come to get the best bits of information about any topic and discuss those that interest them. Rather than relying on computers to determine the best bits of information, we try to empower people with tools to determine that individually and collectively. If it works perfectly, the collective act of people clipping things they find worthy as well as the community popping the ones they too deem clipworthy will create a very meaningful social media destination for people to enjoyably consume information about all sorts of topics they may not otherwise have time for (and meet interesting people in the process).
In order to accomlish this I believe that clips need to be relatively short and too the point. When a clipmark is too long, i find that it breaks the flow of toggling through the information available on the site. I suppose that if you look at each clip as an individual piece of content it really isn't a problem if it's long. But I look at the aggregate of all clips posted on the site as creating a new type of media experience that enables the consumption of content to be entertaining as well as informative
This may sound corny, but i think the global collection of clipmarks posted publicly creates a symphony of information as opposed to each clip on its own being a solo performer.
I certainly don't want to deprive anyone of the ability to use clipmarks for personal archiving purposes. But i feel very passionate about trying to preserve the essence of clipmarks for all people (those who clip and those who just want to come to the site to enjoy the clips that others create) and feel that we need to somehow develop a culture of clipping that puts greater focus on clipping the "sweetspot" of a page.
As always, i'm very interested in hearing your feedback and suggestions.