Forbes buys social bookmarking site Clipmarks

Clipmarks, one of the many startups that helps users collect and organize information from around the web, is being bought by Forbes Magazine, an inside source tells us.

The New York-based startup lets you select text, photos or videos on web pages, then use Clipmark’s bookmarking feature to save the URL and your selected information to your Clipmarks folder. From there, you can share your “clips” with friends and colleagues and even search to find the most popular clips on the Clipmarks site.

Founded by a lawyer disgruntled with pasting citations from articles into an ever-growing Microsoft Word document, Clipmarks’ features go a step further than established bookmarking services such as Delicious.

It lets you choose only a phrase or paragraph of text, or a specific photo on the page to bookmark. This means your bookmarks more obviously point to the information you think matters most.

Forbes finds the service useful for helping their reporters collect and share information about articles they are reading — and you may soon be seeing Clipmarks used in their stories and blogposts. They’ll clip something, and then blog something quickly around it.

We can see the value of this service for reporters selecting Web items on the fly, pasting it into an editor, and providing a brief comment — and so this may be a good home for Clipmarks. However, for pure research purposes, we find other services more useful. For example, RSS readers, such as Google Reader, help us manage the deluge of fresh information being published across online news sites every day.

Other startups that provide similar social-bookmarking features include Grouptivity (our coverage) and Plum.

Back in 2006, we noted a “locust swarm” of social bookmarking startups that were receiving funding even though it wasn’t clear how any of them would make money. Clipmarks seems to have found the same answer as Delicious: get bought — most likely for a small sum — by someone who needs what you made.

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