Yoono is the latest start-up to offer a “web clipping” feature to let you manage your reading and collaborate with others.
For those who’ve never heard of Yoono, it is a French company that offers a social search engine. It gives you downloadable toolbar that, with varying degrees of accuracy, displays websites, blogs, and news articles related to the Web site you’re visiting at the time. When we last wrote about them, in early December, they were claiming 200,000 users, but according to them, the winter months went by and that figure tripled–a somewhat stunning burst, considering Yoono’s low profile.
Yoono “officially” launches and shares its newest feature at the Web 2.0 Expo next week. This new feature is “Buzz It,” a souped-up and smooth-looking mix of Clipmarks and Grouptivity. (See coverage here.) Blending the functionality of its two new rivals, Buzz It allows you to “clip” pieces of content–text, images, videos– from websites and then take what you’ve clipped and save it privately, share it openly, e-mail it to imported contacts or post it to your blog.
In the updated version of Yoono, clicking on a new button in the browser’s toolbar will bring up a “Buzz Note” applet, which is a pop-up screen that becomes your editing dashboard (see screenshot below). This applet deploys Grouptivity’s method and pulls all the videos and images from the site you’re browsing, lining them up as thumbnails. One click on any of the thumbnails adds the content into the Buzz Note, where there is room to jot. Grouptivity, however, limits you to e-mailing your clips. Buzz It does not; as with Clipmarks, exporting your note to your blog or MySpace profile involves a few clicks.
We’ve only seen the demo, but the applet itself is elegant and appears to be intuitive. Compared to Grouptivity’s devilish editing interface, Buzz It’s is an archangel. It offers different editing options from Clipmarks. Clipmarks lets you customize colors, and reduce the size of videos, whereas Buzz lets you do things like reposition text, edit text with formatting like italics and bold, and move photos around.
That being said, for all of Buzz It’s sharp look and feel, Clipmarks offers the most important clipping and posting functionality with a simpler interface: with Clipmarks, you don’t have to open a new window to make clips. It’s difficult to say how popular these sorts of features will become. But for people wanting an easy way to pull content from everywhere and jazz it up with editing tools for their blogs, these are companies to watch.
Note: Grouptivity plans to release a white-label version next week during Web 2.0 Expo.