A few months ago, I wrote here about a new startup coming from France that would change the way that we view social bookmarking. In fact, it would probably change the paradigm to which we have been accustomed to – clicking a link on our browser and going to Digg, Del.icio.us or StumbleUpon and dropping in the link to share with our friends and others on the Internet. That startup was called Pearltrees and last week at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, they announced what they consider to be a major new feature that would help make it easier for people to share their bookmarks on a whole new level.
As a refresher, Pearltrees is a content curation website designed to share your bookmarks with the entire community. There are no friends in Pearltrees. In fact, as founder Patrice Lamothe told me during our meeting, it’s akin to a library where all the users in the community have their own bookshelf. You’re free to wander through this library with a cart (that being your own Pearltree) and pick off interesting content from those “bookshelves”. It’s like open sharing without needing to find people’s usernames or remembering their web address. Pearltrees will help you discover new content.And yes, I still think that Pearltrees is borrowing a bit from the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” methodology.
So their new feature is called a “Super Embed” which will allow Pearltrees users the capability of displaying and viewing a series of content that they curated under a specific “topic” on their website and/or blog. It’s basically creating an unrestricted social bookmark. No longer are we bound by simply linking to our Del.icio.us account or manually creating hyperlinks in our blog posts or on our website, but rather we can create probably a more visually appealing model of links that our readers might prefer. Imagine writing a post on something like Facebook’s privacy issue and prior to writing that post, you had saved a bunch of relevant links you wanted to link back to. Maybe the number of links on Del.icio.us or Digg were too many to include, but you felt it was prudent to include. By creating a Pearltree in Pearltrees, you can curate those links, along with others in the stream and then embed that onto your blog. But what if you don’t have a blog? What application does it have for small businesses? You could curate news and content from people talking about your business and make a visual media room for others looking for more information. Through this “Super Embed” feature, Pearltrees is making it known that you can share all types of content, including photos and videos.
Other nice features included in this latest iteration of the service include:
- Pearltree add-on for Chrome
- Real-time notifications about comments a Pearltree has received as well as when other Pearltrees’ users “pick” or subscribe to a particularly Pearltree
- A simplified user interface and a new social search engine that gives users a visual representation of the relevance of search results based upon proximity
So how does Pearltrees let people leverage the “Super Embed” feature?
Once you’ve logged into your Pearltrees account, you can build your own pearltree to curate the content that you want. I’ve scoured through the community to find someone with a series of websites focused on Entrepreneur Resources which I’d like to include on my website. Not only does Pearltrees allow me to embed this pearltree, but I’m able to share this in multiple ways including email, Twitter, Facebook or simply sending the URL that is similar to what you’d have to do with existing social bookmarks – like you were sharing bookmarks with a similar tag or category. But in this instance, I’d like to embed this pearltree into this site.
Once you click on the “embed this pearltree” link, you’re able to slightly customize how you want this widget to appear – frankly, I think the only thing you can do is customize the size of how it looks. So you embed it and what then appears on your page is something similar to what would appear if you did the same thing with a YouTube video. Basically, what you see on Pearltree’s website is what you’d see on your site, except slightly smaller, but with the same functionality. You can even click on any of the pearls in the pearltree and it will open up the link. You won’t see the opened link in a new window or browser tab, but rather as an overlay on your screen that you can control. Viewers then have the opportunity to share this potentially new content with others on Pearltrees or perhaps “plucking” this pearl and adding it to their own pearltrees.
Will this social bookmarking evolution work?
There might be a chance that this would work. I think people are looking to find a way to make their lives easier and help garner attention over the things that they themselves have curated, but want to share with others. While overall the visual representation allowed by these “Super Embed” features would definitely help add more authority to a website, one wonders about the implication towards things like Search Engine Optimization and whether sites like Google, Bing or Yahoo will have their spiders pay attention and help lead to more prominent placement on search results? Only time will tell whether people will jump on this form of social bookmarking, but their founder, Patrice Lamothe, did tell me that they are gaining new users since they launched so it does appear to be a successful startup.
Pearltrees is currently open to those who wish to join. You can find out more by clicking here.Google+