The bulk of my research happens online, so I am always on the lookout for tools that will help me better capture, catalog and retrieve data. Browser bookmarks left my online research workflow some time ago when I began to use Delicious, with occasional forays into using Xmarks. Lately, I’ve depended on Evernote‘s web clipping tools. After writing about the Cliqset’s integration with Evernote, iCyte came to my attention. It’s a new social bookmarking tool that enables you to capture Cytes (web pages) for later reference.
After signing up for an account and installing its Firefox add-on (a Google Chrome bookmarklet is due to launch soon), you are ready to start creating Cytes. Once you are on a web page you want to save as a Cyte, click on “Create Cyte,” and the page gets saved to a project in your iCyte account.
Personally, I find some bookmarking tools’ tagging and organizing interfaces overly complex. However, iCyte has a very clean implementation that doesn’t intimidate or confuse with too many organizational options. After creating a Cyte, you can add it to a project (folder), or create a new project for it. You can also tag your Cytes with keywords.
Cliqset and iCyte are on par feature-wise, except that Cliqset integrates with Evernote and the Cliqset web site has its own social media feed whereas iCyte focuses on just capturing, sharing, and storing your research.
iCyte does bring some new features to the table which differentiate it from similar tools and services. You can highlight passages in your Cytes – especially useful for long articles and blog pages – which I found a real value-add. If you are a frequent RSS user, you can create an RSS feed of the Cytes in a given project. One other nice feature is the option to embed a Cyte in your blog.
iCyte is gauging customer demand before integrating Evernote with the service. I certainly hope the integration happens at some point in the future for my own workflow needs, and it would also round out the product by enabling users to share Cytes with a broader audience. Being able to only save my Cytes to my iCyte account felt a bit too restrictive, so I hope the service is opened up to Evernote and other data collection applications like OneNote and Yojimbo.
Have you tried out iCyte? Share your experience below.
Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Can Enterprise Privacy Survive Social Networking?