Hundreds have tried.
Many have failed.
Some have limped or pivoted.
Pinterest, solved the dilemma. Share your interests, your bookmarks, and make it fun. I will clarify “bookmarks” soon.
The site has the assistance of hitting one of the largest demographics of spenders on the web (women).
Fancy UI, easy, intuitive (while it’s sort of still hard to explain until you “see” the website or use it), trucking along (as they were struggling mightily after a year):
Nine months later, the site still had less than 10,000 users.
“I think I personally wrote to the first 5,000 users,” said Silbermann, who also gave the site’s users his cell phone number and met some of them for coffee.
“A lot of people ask, ‘Why did you keep going? Why didn’t you bail?’” he said. “I think the idea of telling people, ‘We blew it,’ was just too embarrassing.”
Sharing “boards” (files or directories), with Pin’s (or bookmarks), which can be as general or specific as you may like.
Solved. Monetized, and since “everyone and their mother” is on Social, a glut of articles on how / why (The US Army got it fairly quickly, which was interesting. gets it) to utilize Pinterest exploded. As soon as I post this (and started writing it) more and more articles will arise (notwithstanding the recent (last week) copyright issues).
I find HubSpot’s amusing. “Fun Orange Things”
Funny enough, Tumblr, on its internal Dashboard (a distinct difference between external facing non-users) probably comes close as far as a viral community:monetization is different.
Scales are different. And the demo’s are different (I liken Tumblr to a mash of art and Myspace folks (not the same folks, just the demographics).
Tumblr was a suggestion I made to a Helicopter school for their struggles in s/EM; tagging up pictures, stories, success, struggles (part of their marketing was the difficulty of the school), etc.
If not bookmarks, let’s say content sharing as whole. You have pinboards; groups / categories / folders, pins; visual based + content (paragraph, whatever) “hook.”
People are visually oriented.
People want to add comments to visually oriented subjects.
People like discussion around visual subjects they find common interest in.
Making an anchor visual in Pinterest is key. Whether trendy, or genuine versus something like Evernote, Delicious, or about ten others I found rather interesting (a shared-highlight saver in FireFox which died out), has an issue of word-content having to be read.
It’s not catchy, unless you are talking about infographics, or a named subject (brand) like Ira Glass:
Blocks of interesting text, while fine for very small, niche area’s (computer science, design, etc.) don’t hit market saturation nor do they monetize well. Excepting the successful Evernote / Instapaper (different markets, self-content bookmarking, “save for later,” etc.)
We have shorter attention spans (theoretically, I disagree).
Everything is linked to catching an eye, a hook. Visual hooks give Pinterest the leg up on anything else that has tried thus far.
It’s not apples to apples, but Pinterest is just implemented better.
Failures or limpers: (partly from previous research as I did 3 months of work on a potential bookmark / content sharing “app” research project. Still in the works though I envision a new OS really [future link])
They changed the site dramatically and gave users no warning to make a contingency plan, then launched the new version with a laundry list of broken tools and an astonishing scroll of things they’re “working on.”
Most people are reporting that the plugins are either broken or not compatible – including the most recent versions made by AVOS. The accrued bookmarks and tags are all still tucked away on Delicious’ site, but can’t be accessed by the plugin at all.
On launch day, the amount of people timing out while trying to log in was sadly impressive. As I write this, I get a 502 when checking the delicious.com link.
The RSS feeds were broken, the password reset was broken, browser extensions are still broken, tag bundles are gone (users put a lot of work into these), search by date is gone and search returns are not chronological, users are now unable to edit their tags…
The functionality of the site is gone. I have to wonder, did anyone at AVOS actually use Delicious?
Visual GUI – graphics. No algorithmic content, but easy for tabs / folders with good right-column bvar. Could have a content-section (the key word algo’s) on left… search is good on this
good cross-platform (iPad, etc)
more Notes / clips and bookmarks.
looks like Outlook express…
very complex / indepth, but shitty gui
Historio.us [I’ll someday do a research blog on why .weird urls confuse average consumers]
I know that what I bookmark will have a snapshot at that moment in time, citable and impervious to changes that happen to the source.
That is a fantastic feature.
My advice to you would be to highlight that. Bookmarks against things that can and will change, disappear or move are moving targets… what you’re offering here is a permanent bookmark as it stood at that moment in time.
That’s a big deal, definitely enough to make me consider trying it out. But you need to communicate that this is possible… it would really help researchers and those who use bookmarks as a searchable source over a long period of time (which is when the effects of things changing becomes most obvious).
Many programmers were going about the “problem” of trying to share interesting content (because it is rewarding, and finding “like minded” people on diverse or niche subjects is difficult, thus the internet becomes a perfect medium for finding those “like minded” people) as building web apps, with “additional” features for a subscription based model. Nobody cares.
If you can’t increase the base of usage along with the discussion of the content, it has less utility vs something like Pinterest which garners small bits of discussion and gives online “social proof.” (Or brand).
The discussion, and visual hook, sinks the bookmark / content sharing industry.
Even FB has usage problems of saturation of “stupid” posts: ala, GOING TO STORE, and the like (just like Twitter), whereas people are trying to build and curate “quality” boards, and only achieve a larger status of repins with quality.
Quality, of course is a tricky thing to define.
As “stupid” posts could be a great board in of itself, but won’t be cluttering up your other “streams” of information if you so choose to ignore it.
Hell, Pinterest solved Circles better then Google. Access to large load of information on interesting subjects member-curated with discussion.
Once again, post is a work-in-progress.