Thursday, July 31, 2008

Banner day for Notemarking

Today was a pretty big news day for notetaking and bookmarking applications. Unfortunately, my real job is demanding quite a bit of my time. Though each of today’s developments deserve their own post, I’m not going to be able to provide that kind of coverage until the weekend. Still, here’s a quick run down of the day’s big news:

  1. Delicious 2.0 finally launched. The Delicious announcement included this nicely done video that summarizes site’s astounding visual refresh. As Delicious.com’s announcement promised, the redesign delivers more than just a new name and a pretty face. It’s noticeably faster, and search is much improved. I’m disappointed the changes don’t include the more robust tag management features I was anticipating. And Matthew Ingram caused a stir when he wondered, “who bookmarks anymore?” A whole lot of people responded, “I DO!” One reason why is that bloggers and social media types are increasingly using the bookmarking site as a quick, low-friction publishing tool, that works well both for blogs and aggregators like FriendFeed and Tumblr. That being so, I was surprised that one very useful change seemed to get lost amidst all the hype and hoopla.
  2. Evernote continues to improve. Evernote released some significant updates for their Web-based and Windows editions. Chief among them is the addition of rich text editing to the Web-based Evernote. This is something that should have been there at launch, but adding it helps close the gap somewhat with Google Notebook. Still, I can’t dig Web Evernote’s visual thumbnail approach to organizing my notes. Evernote’s multi-platform approach and flawless synchronization are strong features, but Google Notebook still organizes text better than Evernote. And my notes are all about text.
  3. Lifehacker’s Five Best Notetaking Tools. The venerable productivity blog, with input from its readers, tags Evernote, OneNote, and Google Notebook among the best options for taking notes. My vote is here.
  4. SocialMedian launches. Louis Gray is pretty complimentary in his remarks about the company’s public beta launch. I joined this morning, and I’m impressed, too. At first blush, the ability to set up your own “news networks” might seem a like the “roll-your-own Digg” features offered by both Reddit and Mixx. But Social Median is a bit smarter than that. As Gray puts it, “SocialMedian is best described as an amalgamation of pieces from FriendFeed, Digg and Del.icio.us. Like in each service, you can bookmark external items, and share them with friends.” I created my own network for CloudNotes because I’ve been looking for a way to share all the Notemarking stories I’m simply too busy to cover. Yes, I’ve got my Google Notebook and Google Reader pages for Cloudnotes, but I’m thinking SocialMedian might be a more elegant solution.

Damn. This took longer than I thought. I’ll have more this weekend. Thank you for reading. :)

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