Microsoft offers clipping and sharing with Thumbtack

Do you need yet another way to collect and share things you find online? Apparently Microsoft thinks so. The software giant is previewing a new sharing product called Thumbtack.

This is the latest iteration of a service previously called Listas. The new name makes the concept pretty clear — Thumbtack is way to stick text, images and links into a virtual collection. This sounds very similar to Google Notebook. Plus, there’s an overwhelming amount of social sharing sites and bookmarking sites out there, and sharing was a big part of Facebook’s redesign a few months ago.

I do like the emphasis on collections, rather than just sharing individual items. So you can create a list of restaurants that you like, or collect all the relevant info that your family needs for a trip. (The latter sounds kind of like the Travel Packs offered by Microsoft-backed travel site PlanetEye.) And the interface looks pretty smooth: You copy and paste sections of web sites into Thumbtack itself, or into mini-windows via the Thumbtack bookmarklet. Then you can click and drag each item around the collection.

Although many of the examples revolve around sharing, you can also just create a collection for private use, basically a fancier version of a document where you save a bunch of useful links. There are gadgets that add functionality, like comparing items by price or location.

Right now, Thumbtack is part of Microsoft Live Labs, so the team is looking for suggestions on how to improve the product and where to take it next. This could be a nice addition to Windows Live, which has become a social network of sorts with the latest release.

Of course, there’s already a popular way to publish collections of images, text and links, as well as your own thoughts. It’s called a blog.

Video: Thumbtack Introduction
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