Looking for an easy way to share those crazy videos, funny pictures and cool text snippets you run across every day while browsing the Internet? Or are you just looking for a simple way to keep all those clippings in one place so YOU can get at them easily? Well, a new service called ClipMarks may be just the thing you’ve been looking for.
ClipMarks is part website, part browser extension. You need to sign up for an account, which is fast, free and painless, and can be done here. You’ll also need to install the browser plugin, in order to start clipping. There are extensions available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer as well as the Firefox-based Flock web browser. They can be downloaded here.
Once you have the ClipMarks extension installed, the only thing to do is make sure you’re signed into the website, restart your web browser, and start clipping! Once you’ve restarted your browser, a green ClipMarks icon will appear (in Firefox it appears in the navigation toolbar. It sits there, unobtrusively, waiting for you to find something you want to clip.
When that moment comes, simply hit the green icon, and a little orange topbar will appear, with different options for clipping, such as “Save,” “Blog,” “Email” and “Print.” You can clip up to 1000 words at a time, so this isn’t for large chunks of text, but a few hundred.
If you want to clip a block of text, simply highlight it and a green “clip” button will magically appear on the web page you’re viewing. Hit the button and the text you clipped will be copied, and you will be able to see exactly how many characters you have clipped. At this point, you need to hit one of the four publishing buttons (“Save, “Blog” “Email” or “Print”), or simply hit the Cancel link (at the far right of the orange topbar), and continue on your way.
If you want to simply save the clip, hit the “Save” button, and the web page will go back to normal, while another window appears. On this window, you have the ability to name your clip, as well as append any remarks. You can also “tag” the clip (for topic-specific searching), as well as mark the clip public or private. If you wish this clip to simply be for you, mark it private. This done, hit the big SAVE button. After a moment, you’ll get confirmation that your clip has been saved. If you’re done, close the window and continue browsing, but if you wish, the clip is still in memory and you can perform one of the other actions on the clip (“Blog,” “Email” or “Print”).
Blogging is a simple matter as well. Simply hit the “Blog” button and the window changes so you can configure your blog settings. ClipMarks knows how to post to a variety of blog APIs, including WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, Movable Type, TypePad and Vox. As well, you can choose to embed the quote within a MySpace page. Simply provide your username, password, and – if necessary – the blog’s web address, and hit the Next button. You can now give a name to your blog post, provide any additional remarks, and when you’re ready, post!
Should you choose to Email, on the other hand, the window will change to a basic text form, where you can type in all email addresses you wish to send the clip to, as well as a space to attach a personal note. If you keep a contact list with Yahoo, Hotmail, Plaxo, Gmail or Outlook/Outlook Express, you can simply import your saved email addresses simply by providing a username/password combination. As well, if you use other email programs, such as Entourage, Lotus Notes, Netscape (and others), you can export your address book and import it. From this point on, you will have access to those addresses from within ClipMarks’ email form, and can simply click the email address you wish to use. The clip can also be included in the email, which is important if you chose to make the clip private, but it’s also a nice convenience for the person you’re sending the clip to, so they don’t have to then visit a website just to view the clip.
At this point, you can print the clip if you wish, or simply dismiss the window, and you’re done. From now on, if you want to view the clip, simply browse to ClipMarks and visit your clippings page. Here you can search through your clips, see if anyone has commented on them (if you’ve made them public, of course), and see if anyone has “popped” your clip. You can also set up a blog-type feed of all your clips, so if someone wants to subscribe to an updating feed of all the cool stuff you find on the Internet, they can.
Finally, ClipMarks is more than about just what you or I find on the Internet… it’s about what EVERYONE finds on the Internet. You can browse through all the public clips should you wish, and search through them. As well, you can look at lists of the most-popped clips (similar to someone digg-ing an article), and if you really like the stuff someone else finds, subscribing to their clips as well. Browsing ClipMarks really can be handy, especially if you’re looking for info on a particular topic. It’s easy enough to search through what other people have found, as a means of inspiration.
In my use, I found ClipMarks to be simple, fast and straightforward. Everything behaved as I thought it was going to, and there didn’t seem to be a lot of extra hoops to jump through just to get my clip saved. All in all, I felt this was a great little website/extension, and one that can definitely find a place on a lot of browser toolbars!