Gimmebar is a unique entrant into the world of bookmarking, of which there is no shortage. Pioneered by Delicious, social bookmarking has not evolved in any significant way since its inception. Gimmebar would like to change that by inviting you not to bookmark your web, but to save it.
Most sites offer to save a link to whatever web page you’d like to bookmark, serving all of your links up as a list, or a “stack,” or thumbnails, perhaps. Delicious, Pinboard (of which I am a huge fan, mind you), Diigo- all of these do things in much the same way. They present you with this list of your personal links, allowing you to click on them to take you to the original web page. Gimmebar presents your web to you in a different way. Instead of saving links, users save whatever item interests them on a particular page, be it a link, image, text- almost anything- and Gimmebar allows you to view it without leaving their page. Of course, you can still easily get to the original item, but by allowing you to save items in this manner, Gimmebar updates the concept of bookmarking for the modern web.
The first page you’ll see is your Library. This is simply all of your saved items, presented in their entirety. If you’ve saved an image, you’ll see the image. The same goes for text, links, etc, so that instead of a simple list of links, you’re greeted with a collage of your personal web- a snapshot of your online consciousness. There are two dropdown menus, allowing you to filter your items by collection or type. Collections are simply subsets of links that you create to organize your items in whatever manner you wish. I have collections set up for mobile screenshots, a product wishlist, writing quotes, generic inspiration, and a few more. You choose your collection when you save an item to Gimmebar (more on that later). Types refer to what type of data you’ve saved. Currently supported types include text, images, full pages, recipes, tweets, and videos. The menu bar to filter or search your library is persistent, so you have quick access to it even when scrolling through collection.
Clicking on the Discovery tab allows you to explore new and interesting items from other Gimmebar users, giving you the option to save each item to your own library without leaving the page. This can be a great way to inspire yourself, or it can serve as a simple and fun timewaster.
The Collections page shows you, first, your own collections, with nested tabs for items you’ve marked as favorites, notable collections selected (I’d imagine) by Gimmebar’s curators, and new collections from your Gimmebar friends- which brings me to the social aspect.
Discovering More Goodness
Arguably the most magical effect of the social revolution is the ability to connect with fascinating people who share your interests. Gimmebar brings this mindset to social bookmarking, allowing you to find and follow other members. Some bookmarking sites have some sort of social feature, but by and large they feel like an afterthought. Using Gimmebar gives the impression that discovery was a very integral part of the original concept, and it shows in the delivery. There’s also a baked-in option to share any worthy collections you come across via Twitter, which is simply one of the ways in which the Gimmebar team has integrated the service with the social networking behemoth.
The fourth tab in the main bar is People. As you might have guessed, this is a way to discover people to follow in Gimmebar. The first tab lists people you “know,” mostly from your Twitter feed, while the second tab lists “Stellar People” selected by the Gimmebar staff.
To save an item to Gimmebar, you’re given two options via the extensions page. There is a Google Chrome extension and a bookmarklet for all non-Chrome users. When you come across an item, simply click the extension button (or the bookmarklet), and across the bottom of your screen will appear the Gimmebar:
If you’ve selected an item that Gimmebar recognizes (ie text or video), you can simply click the resulting “Gimme” button that will pop up next to the item. You can also drag items into the bar to save them. You can choose to make the selection public or private. Once you’ve initiated the process, Gimmebar will auto-fill a title for the bookmark, give it a unique url to share via Twitter, ask you what collection it should go into and whether you’d like to fill in a short description or add tags for easier retrieval.
Other Items of Note
- By connecting to your Instapaper, Pinboard, Twitter, or Delicous accounts, you can even backup items from your existing services.
- Gimmebar has released an API, which means other developers can now create applications that integrate with Gimmebar. This can potentially be huge, since modern web successes are usually based on creating not just an app, but an ecosystem
- Pro accounts are available at $2/ month, giving you a Pro badge, a first look at new features, and “mystery love.”
Gimmebar is a fantastic new take on bookmarking, with a wonderful crew of developers and designers behind it who obviously care about this product a great deal. It’s easy to use, has a stunning interface, and has all the markings of a truly great modern web application. Ironically, if they served up a speedier way to access the full pages (links) I bookmark- the one thing traditional bookmarking services do well- it would likely be the only bookmarking service I use.