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Wists, thumbnail-based bookmarks

01 Mar 2005 by Jason Fried

David Galbraith explains his new Wists thumbnail bookmarking service.

Pretty interesting concept. You click a bookmarklet in your browser toolbar, then the page is stripped of text and only the images remain. Click an image, then assign some tags, and save. Wists then creates a thumbnail for that page (based on the image you selected) and stores it in your Wists account. So, instead of remembering web pages by title, you can remember them with a representative image. Neat idea with a pretty smooth experience. Here’s a sample list I put together.

Has some cool implications for shopping wish lists. You could easily make a graphical list of 10 pieces of furniture you want. Or 7 books. Or whatever. Then you can email that list to someone who owes you some money. See the potential?

24 comments so far (Post a Comment)

01 Mar 2005 | Jamie said...

So is this essentially a better looking de.licio.us? I like it. Much easier on the eyes! Performance could be a tad faster though.

01 Mar 2005 | Dan said...

I noticed that too, Jamie; the loading time was pretty horrendous. The concept is neat but the performance has to be improved.

01 Mar 2005 | Paul said...

My gawd, that is the worst performance I've seen from a new web app. Note to self: Don't launch something public - even in beta - if it can't perform enough to even be beta tested!

01 Mar 2005 | Solomon Folks said...

They should have used Ruby on Rails ;-)

01 Mar 2005 | François said...

Have a look at Blogmarks.net too :)

01 Mar 2005 | Dean said...

Yes - the server(s?) is/are struggling but I'm told they are working on the speed issues. Bookmarks with a thumbnail images seem like a good idea for a visual person like myself. Might help with saved links with cryptic "title" tags. The shopping lists w/image idea is good too.

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

Really good idea. I dig it.

I don't like that you can't specify a username. "adam2" wtf?!

I also don't like that it's so slow I haven't yet been able to add a "Wist".

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

Also, it doesn't seem to be able to grab CSS background images.

That renders this tool utterly useless :(

01 Mar 2005 | David Galbraith said...

Yeah - working on the speed, which is largely due to me putting in extraneous features, than the code. So will trim the fat and make it fast.
Re grabbing background images etc. will so some more bookmarklets to do stuff like this - but damn its hard to shoehorn things like this into IE's character limit for bookmarklets. Perhaps the better ones will be Firefox only.

01 Mar 2005 | Shane Vitarana said...

This is essentially flickr with images linked to web pages. I wonder if it possible to do this with the flickr APIs instead of starting from scratch?

01 Mar 2005 | Daniel J. Wilson said...

Coincidentally, just yesterday I mocked up a thumbnail view of browser-based bookmarks. I really like the ability to select an image to associate with a bookmark!

01 Mar 2005 | Jamie said...

The more that I use this the more it seems like an alternative to del.icio.us. I am not familiar with Flickr APIs. Either way, looking at a representative photo is a lot more intuitive than reading a long page description title (referring to del.icio.us). Now if there was only a way to see how many other people added the link to their Wist....

01 Mar 2005 | Matt Hampel said...

The firefox extension BetterSearch does this for Del.icio.us bookmarks and google searches using the Alexa image for the site.

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

David, I think I've a pretty decent solution to your dilemma. What's the best way to talk to you?

01 Mar 2005 | David Galbraith said...

davidwgalb on aim

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

Cool, I'm headed into a meeting for about an hour... I'll contact you when I'm out.

01 Mar 2005 | seth said...

What's the old saying...a picture is worth a thousand words?

I like sites like this that use thumbnails to show results for web sites. I'm going to have to check out that BetterSearch extension...

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

David...

Didn't get a chance to make it onto AIM. Going home now and I hope to catch you there.

Wrote you a script that works on all browsers (at least FF, IE6, Opera PC), gives you background images, and gives the user a nicely styled interface instead of just a plain bunch of IMG tags.

It's sexy :) Stick around... I'll be home soon.

01 Mar 2005 | JF said...

Much thanks to David for speaking up here and to Adam for offering help. Very cool to see this happening.

01 Mar 2005 | pb said...

a picture is worth a thousand words

On the web, I still lean towards "text is worth a thousand images" especially when images are being used to display text.

01 Mar 2005 | Adam Michela said...

... passed the script off to David (very cool guy btw). He digs it and plans to push it off to production when we're done putting it through it's paces.

This bookmarklet-on-roids-thing is (if I may say so myself) pretty kick ass and full of potential.

Wists is going to be a beautiful thing. David has some awesome ideas and goals for this project.

I'm happy that I can do my little part to help by providing all of you with a useable gateway into David's application. I think the fact that David is willing to accept help from a total stranger says alot for his character and should give all of us a good reason to stand behind his product.

Like Jason said... Very cool. 8)

01 Mar 2005 | David Galbraith said...

Thanks Adam, will certainly be putting up the awesome, improved bookmarklet you have written.

Speed issues should be much better now and we've added an implicit friends thing so that your 'friends' network is built on the fly when you add from someone else's wists.

01 Mar 2005 | Robb said...

This sounds like a great feature from the get go, then to continue on, and read that Adam has helped out in some way, just doesn't surprise me.

nice work David, and Adam! can't wait to check the new version out.

02 Mar 2005 | mindful_learner said...

I still feel this is the kind of functionality that should be built direct into the browser: visual history, visual favourites, tagging, etc...especially if your browser could base its lists on on-line versions you've got.

Mindful

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