Thumbtack, An Online Notebook From Live Labs

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There’s a new web clipping service now available from Microsoft Live Labs: Thumbtack. With this online notebook, you can collect links, media like photos and video, and text snippets, and store them in collections for later reference. The tool, ideal for those doing research on the web, also allows you to collaborate with others by allowing them to also add clips and notations to the collected items.

To use Thumbtack, entries can either be cut and pasted in manually, or a browser bookmarklet can be used. The bookmarklet works in both IE and Firefox and is platform agnostic. Everything you save is stored in “Collections.” You can make the collections either private for your use only, or you can invite others to join them. The Collections can also be published via RSS and/or embedded on your web site or blog.

A unique feature called “Gadgets” let you work with the items you’ve saved in ways that other similar web clipping services do not. At launch time, there’s an Address gadget that finds addresses in your web clippings and maps them out, a Layout gadget that helps you rearrange items on the Thumbtack canvas, a Plot gadget that looks at all the properties and values on the items in your collection and allows you to create a scatter plot or a bar chart, and a Properties gadget that lets you add any property and value (such as ‘price’: 25) to any item.


In the future, developers will be able to create their own gadgets and the Thumbtack team will release some gadgets that allow importing or exporting the data from spreadsheets and other Office applications.

Although the service feels a little raw at the moment (the UI needs some tweaking), its those differences mentioned above – especially the promise of being able to develop for it – make Thumbtack a promising new service worth keeping your eye on.

You can learn more about Thumbtack in this video:

See this video on MSN Soapbox



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