WebClip: Save Only What You Want

WebClip.in turned into WebClip.out. In a Hail Mary effort to salvage anything from their months of hard work, the domain is up for sale.

I remember about a year and a half ago I saw the funniest online video that I’ve ever seen. It was from a sketch comedy group and it involved two detectives at a crime scene and they were trying to do that move you see in movies where you close the eyes of the deceased person by moving your hand in front of their face. Only instead of closing the dead person’s eyes something strange would happen. One detective would try to close the eyes of a dead woman laying on the ground and the eyes would not only remain open but the face would be contorted into the most horrific grin. Or the face would be painted like a clown. Or the person lying on the ground would inexplicably become the other detective. It sounds a bit macabre, but let me assure you it was hilarious.

I’ve tried explaining the sketch to friends and they laugh but then they want to see the video. That’s a problem. I don’t know the name of it. Nor do I know which sketch comedy group made the video. Also I don’t remember much else about the video. In fact, the only thing I really remember is that it literally made me fall out of my chair laughing. I’ve searched for it but my search terms (detectives + dead girl + funny) don’t yield the most pleasant results. I do remember, though, that I bookmarked it in my web browser. The problem now is that since I watched the video, I’ve gone through three computer and two laptops. And, of course, I never remember to back up my browser bookmarks.

webclip

WebClip (WebClip.in) is the kind of website idea that makes you wonder why other companies haven’t come up with it before now. Instead of just being a place to store your favorite web stuff, you can clip out just the part of a webpage you want to keep and store it with the click of a button. It doesn’t matter what it is you want to save; it could be text, pictures, video, links, WebClip saves them all.

You can sign up for a WebClip account through your Facebook or Twitter account, or click on “Sign Up” if you like. After that, you drag the “Webclip this” bookmarklet button up to your favorite/bookmarks bar and you’re ready to go. Once you see something online you want to save, highlight it with your mouse by dragging over the object and press the button. A pop-up window will appear where you can choose a category, what content you want saved, and any notes or tags you want to include with the content. Click “Save” and your content is stored at WebClip.

WebClip lets you create you own personal repository of favorite items, organized by category. The feel of the site is like your own personal Digg!. Other users can comment on your finds or “Like” them or mark them as a favorite. There’s a sense of community and the WebClip website is well-designed, and there’s sharing going on. You can share from WebClip to other social media sites and comment on other people’s finds. But that’s not really why I like WebClip.

I like it because it stores the stuff that I like somewhere reliable, i.e. nowhere that I can mess it up. If I want to share something I found today with a friend next year, I can do that. As long as I post it to WebClips, I don’t have to worry about not being able to find that great video or link or photo, because it will be there, in its assigned category, ready to share.

If there’s one thing that WebClips doesn’t have that I want, it’s the ability to search through only MY posted favorites. As I continue to use the service, I’ll end up with thousands of favorites and it would be great if I could search through only my favorites or a single user’s favorites, instead of all users.

An area I can see WebClips being particularly useful is for research. When working on a project, you could use the service to pick and choose paragraphs from reference material you find online that you might want to use later. Instead of saving the whole document and noting the page and paragraph, you only have to bring up your saved WebClip and it will have whatever notes you wrote attached to it. College students might find this very handy.

There’s so much great stuff out there on the web that it’s easy to continue amassing a pile of stuff you like. Services exist that allow you to save whole web pages but sometimes all you need is a few pictures or a sentence. WebClips integrates well with social media and fosters a sense of community between users. It’s an organized, online bookmarks folder that I never have to back up. Which is just what I needed.