It was about this time last year – the last days of October. I was working on a book and the information that I filtered and collected from the web was in a desperate need of being classified and neatly archived. I looked in each of the folders that have those snippets, texts, images, maps and diagrams: it was the most untidy archive I had ever seen. Materials were in different formats such as Word docs, PDFs, texts, html files and compressed web pages. The worst part of it was about attaching the ones to the others that looked related; like, a Word document to be linked to a map and a JPG image or a PDF needed to be attached to a couple of text files. I couldn’t even remember where I collected most of these info bits.
I was thinking, how great it would be if there were an online tool that let me “scrap” the information I needed from a web page; then allow me to attach tags to it (while keeping the original link of the source visible) and finally give me the chance of putting them in seperate “archive folders” that I would store and keep online for free. A searchable and well organized “information center”.
It was exactly the tool I needed: With a small extension installed on my Firefox toolbar, I could “clip” the information I wanted from the web pages; give them titles as I wished; add them tags and place them in the special folders I created. In just a few minutes, I learned how to use Clipmarks and began clipping while I surfed. After a short surfing and clipping session, I browsed my newly created “clip collections” with pride: By that time I had a couple of folders that I named “archaeology”, “history” and “politics.”
But there were more to it than just clipping the web pages and archiving them. I noticed that I could make the clips “public” if I wanted and this would allow others to see the material I just saved into my folder, read it and comment on it. In return, I could browse what others were clipping. It was a unique, dynamic and a great community, as well as being a very powerful tool!
Since that day, I’ve been a Clipmarks member. Through these 52 great weeks, I posted about 2000 public clips in about 25 categories and met great people online. Oh, and by this time I witnessed the continuous growth and improvement of Clipmarks (four major updates in last eight months and it still keeps being better and better.)
Last night, I noticed that it has been almost one year since I joined Clipmarks. I browsed my clip collections again with a smile on my face: Each clip (kept with the comments posted by the other clippers) made me remember a specific day, some hot discussions, nice chats, things I learned from others and the sleepless nights I spent using Clipmarks.
“The Net is amazing,” I whispered to myself. “Five young guys, four in the NYC and one in Wisconsin, are continuously working to refine an almost perfect working environment for me (and for other clippers, of course) and here in Istanbul I sit in front of my computer, grab my mouse and use it with comfort, while making new friends as time goes by.”
Thanks EricG, Derek, EricW, Adam and EricSkiff. For creating Clipmarks – the best online tool I have ever used; and for maintaining a high quality information community, where I met many great people.