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If you’re like me, you probably have days when half the emails in your inbox are links to websites; sometimes without an explanation of why someone on your team felt the need to send you that particular link. Maybe it’s a link to your own website and someone’s trying to communicate that there’s an update needed. Or maybe it’s a link to another site that gave them an idea for moving forward on your current project. Maybe it’s even a link to the website of a lead. Having a simple system in place for adding contextual information to the websites shared would be useful.
Glass is a such a tool. It makes sharing websites — along with adding the required context — a matter of clicking a button in your browser. It’s based on a browser plugin, available for both Firefox and Chrome, that essentially creates a secondary, real-time information sharing “level” for a website when you turn it on. Like writing on a sheet of glass placed over a map, you can add notes on that level and forward them to someone in your network. It’s as much a useful tool for noting design changes that need to be made to a website as it is for noting a reason to contact a prospective lead.
Adding Conversation to the Mix
Glass’s concept grew out of the problems that can come with forwarding a list of links. Diego Prats, the startup’s CEO, says, “I used to try to share massive lists of links but that would lead to confusion over what to click or what was important. In the end, I just wanted to make them look or watch something so we could talk about it. With that in mind, we set out to create Glass so we could effectively point to anything on the web and have our own private conversation right there. It’s our way of eliminating that ‘you had to be there’ or ‘oh you didn’t see that’ kind of moment.”
The back and forth when discussing websites can quickly lose the context of the site itself, if your conversation isn’t actually forcing you to open up that link every time. Glass’s approach — allowing you to respond to comments on that layer laid top of the website you’re discussing — keeps everyone on the same page.
Keeping It All in Context
Sharing information comes down to a question of context. Prats notes, “For us, sharing context is really about creating more value for the conversation and the content being discussed. Glass is not about telling you about something interesting that you found and hoping you may check it out, but instead, it’s about bringing you into the fold and the moment so you can experience it as well… Whether it’s about sharing recipes, a new gallery show we should attend, the latest news in technology, apartment listings on craigslist, or even new design comps we’re collaborating on, we’ll always know what we were talking about and what everyone said, as that’s all stored together.”
Let us know what you think of Glass in the comments.
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