Archive - Jan 20, 2011

Exploring Pearltrees

A couple of weeks ago in a blog about post-delicious content sharing, I briefly mentioned Pearltrees. Since then, I’ve slowly started playing more and more with it, and I’m finding I really like it. I can get it to do much of what I’ve been looking for in a social bookmarking site.

First, the downside. It is primarily flashbased. I’m not a big fan of Flash so I view that as a downside. However, it does gracefully degrade for nonflash users, so it isn’t as much of a downside as other flash based sites are.

A second downside is that, at least as far as I’ve explored it so far, it is very hierarchical. I’m not a big fan of hierarchies, and I’m exploring to see how to subvert them in Pearltrees. Trailmeme seems to address both of these downsides fairly well, but it feels like newer, not quite ready product, and I couldn’t get Trailmeme to easily do some of the things I want, so I’ll save Trailmeme for later.

Now, the things that I like with Pearltrees. You can set it up so that when you treat a URL, the URL shows up in your Pearltrees drop zone. This is nice. You can then drag the URL into wherever you want in your Pearltrees. It has a bookmarking tool, so you can go to a webpage and automatically add it to your Pearltrees, your drop zone, or do a bunch of other things.

You can allow other people team up with you on a Pearltree, which I’ve done with one of my subtrees. You can also set specific icons for different trees. For the different pearls, you can add comments. This is important to me. I hate to go back over recent bookmarks and not be able to figure out why I bookmarked a site. It becomes even more important for collaboration.

When you add a comment, the pearl displays with a yellow ring around it, making it easier to find pearls with comments.

When you click on a pearl and bring it up within Pearltrees, you can click on ‘Pearls’ in the lower left corner to switch back to the Pearltree mode. There are arrows that you can use to scroll through pages you’ve added, and you can quickly add comments to the pages in this mode. You can also use tools to share the page or open the page in a new window. As a final note, you can export the data in XML to use in other systems.

I expect I’ll spend more time exploring this. Check out My Pearltree. If you’re using Pearltrees, drop me a note. Perhaps we can collaborate.