Copyto.co: Bookmarking and Web Clipping in One

Screen shot 2011-05-06 at 15.49.06

Bookmarking service Copyto.co provides a useful service for research and collaboration. It not only stores the URLs of the pages you want to save; it allows you to save all or a portion of the content on the page in your account, too. That way, if the page changes or is taken down, you’ll still have the content stored and searchable in your Copyto.co account.

Once you’ve signed up, bookmarks can be added via the website or (much more conveniently) via Firefox and Chrome extensions, as shown in the screenshot above. These add-ons are a bit fiddly;¬†you must be signed in for the Chrome add-on to work, while the button for the Firefox add-on is hidden down at the bottom-right of the window. It also took me a while to figure out how to clip content from a web page.

Once saved, pages can be tagged, shared with contacts and made public (note: this effectively publishes a public cache of the page you’ve saved; there may be copyright implications in using this feature). Editing bookmarks/saved content like this can only be done via the website, not at the time of saving it with the extension. Bookmarks can also be imported from Delicious, Firefox, Chrome or any other service that lets you export your bookmarks in Netscape bookmark format.

By default, the website shows your saved pages in “fancy” view (thumbnails) and displayed in chronological order, but you can switch to a list view if you prefer. Bookmarks/saved content is searchable via the search box, although, strangely, it doesn’t seem to include page titles in the search. Mobile support is provided via a mobile-optimized version of the website, which works well, and there are also RSS feeds available: a private feed that contains all of your bookmarks, and a public one only containing those you’ve marked as public.

Copyto.co is free for storing up to 50 bookmarks, which should be enough to give the site a try to see whether you might find it useful. More than that and you’ll need to purchase a subscription, which costs $15.99 per year, or $1.99 month. While Copyto.co is similar to traditional social bookmarking services like Delicious (recently sold to Avos Systems) and Pinboard, its clipping functionality also means it’s competing with note-taking apps like Evernote and OneNote. Combining bookmarking and clipping services means it’s something of a compromise. As a simple bookmarking service, it works pretty well, although it doesn’t have the more-advanced social features of Delicious, and it’s more expensive than both Delicious (free) and Pinboard (one-off payment of $9.33 currently), plus, I find its extensions to be a little clumsy. As a general-purpose clipping tool, it’s nowhere near as powerful and flexible as Evernote, and once again, its extensions aren’t as well-designed. However, it’s still a new service, so I expect the developers will work on making the extensions easier to use, and I can certainly see Copyto.co being useful for certain use cases: researchers who need to clip and share specific portions of webpages with others, and developers who often to grab code from the web, for example.

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