Social bookmarking is still quite popular, even as Delicious and other original bookmarking sites struggle to find their way. There are sites dedicated to bookmarking images, videos, items on your wishlist, and even good old fashioned websites. One thing you don’t typically see being bookmarked is text. We read and share articles on social networks all the time, but sharing special quotes from online articles isn’t something that is typically seen.
Findings is a new social bookmarking site that hopes to change this fact. With Findings, you’re able to highlight, save, and share all of your favorite quotes from whatever you happen to be reading online. After you bookmark a quote, it shows up in the Findings feed where other users can check it out, comment, and add the quote to their personal collections. Keep reading after the jump to learn more about how Findings works and what I thought about it.
So you want to give Findings a try? Alright. Let’s start out by learning how to clip quotes and content. Findings offers two ways to clip. If you are using Google Chrome as your browser, I highly recommend using the browser extension. Findings also recommends the extension for the greatest functionality and ease of use. If you can’t use the extension, Findings also had a bookmarklet available, though it doesn’t offer most of the functionality of the extension and makes it more cumbersome to clip quotes. (Note: For the purposes of this review, I’ll be using the browser extension as recommended by Findings.)
Once you’re all set up, go ahead and find a great article to share. Clipping a quote is easy – just click the extension, then highlight the appropriate text. After selecting your favorite quote(s) you can add any desired notes. Then just choose from the different color schemes and save your findings. You can also clip multiple quotes from one article. All in all, it’s quite a simple process.
Sharing and Socializing
Everything that you clip is saved to your account and shared immediately in the main Findings feed. Once it’s in the feed, the clip is shown in the desired color scheme along with an image from the original article, a link back to the original article and a link to your profile and other clips. The clips shown in the feed also have some ways to interact with the clip and other users. You can like or comment upon any of the clips in the feed. You can add to a collection (more on that later) or save to a variety of social networks and other sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and more.
As you can see in the picture, an explore bar is available to open up to the right. The explore bar links to more, popular clips from different time periods to help you find the best things to read.
In order to personalize your experience a bit, there are a few things you can consider doing. First, follow someone. When you sign up via a social network, any Findings users that you follow on the network are automatically followed on Findings. You can also follow any user you see and like at any time, via their profile. All clips from people you follow are easily accessible via the following feed.
In order to get more people to follow you, you need to first and foremost clip great content. Sharing interesting articles with well-selected clips is the best way to get comments, likes and followers. In addition, however, you can try a few simple changes like adding some curated collections. You can create collections for whatever topic you choose. To add a clip to a collection, simply click on the collections button to upon up the collection tray at the bottom of the screen. Then, drag the clip to the appropriate collection. Click on a collection to view the clips you have saved for easy access.
Collections also come in handy if you decide you want to spruce up your profile. The edit profile button, where you add a name, bio and connect services doesn’t depend upon collections. The top part of your profile, however, which functions like the cover on a Facebook profile. In this cover, however, your three favorite clips show, so that users can easily get a glimpse into what you are like. Below that, all of the clips you have clipped as well as all of the clips you have liked are easily accessible for those who wish to see more of what you’ve done on the site.
I’m not sure what the future of Findings is for me, personally. I’m planning to continue to use it, at least for the time being. It’s a great idea. I love the idea of being able to save excerpts of articles I like as well as having the entire article bookmarked. I’ve actually always wanted a way to do this, but I don’t think Findings is quite up to snuff yet.
First, let’s talk about the interface. The design seems like it has a lot of potentially great elements, but it seems a bit thrown together. For example, I like the idea of having cover quotes for my profile, but when I look at my profile it doesn’t really look all that great. Elements don’t seem that well placed, like the location of the content and explore bars on the feed pages.
The color scheme options are another example. It’s a clever idea, and I like how it allows you to personalize quotes, but seeing all of the colors together in the main feed makes it look unpolished. I hope Findings takes the time to polish everything up as the site grows in popularity. It will definitely help me be willing to spend more time on the site.
There is, above all else, one feature that Findings can add that will really sell the app for me. The option to leave any highlights visible as long as you have the extension installed would be most helpful. I would love to use Findings as a way to annotate articles, with quotes and notes on the quotes saved in a convenient location for me to look at and organize. Findings is almost there, but without the ability to quickly scan the original article and see what I’ve already highlighted, it’s not quite there. If Findings changes only one thing, I hope that this is an option they add. (Note – I’d also love the ability to turn on other’s highlights, at least on articles I find from a clip in Findings)
Like I said, I’m planning to continue to utilize Findings. I like the concept a lot, and it’s the best service I’ve found so far to allow me to easily save, view and access articles and specific quotes that I find online. It definitely hasn’t reached it’s potential, yet. I think there are some great improvements Findings can make – attracting additional users, re-tooling the design and having more visible highlights are just a few. I hope to see the site grow and continue to meet the needs of users.
Have you tried Findings yet? Are you planning to now, or will you wait until they add more features? Do you have an app you recommend instead? I’m certainly open to trying more. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Save and share quotes and articles from the web with Findings, a tool to "clip" your favorite text to your collections.7
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