Say it five times fast. Tooblatooblatooblatooblatoobla. There, that was easy wasn’t it. No? It wasn’t easy, you say? Well, repeating the memorable name is the hardest part about using this nifty new visual bookmarking/content sharing web site whose public beta comes to you September 14, straight outta my home town in the heart of “Sili-Corn Valley”—Columbus, OH.
Toobla.com, initially at least, has two main functions: collecting linked content and sharing it with others, visually. In my brief beta test of the site it accomplishes these tasks very well. I know what you are thinking…whoop-dee-doo, there are a million ways to share content these days, right? Probably too many? (YALST—yet another link sharing tool). There most definitely are, but Toobla has a bit of a different paradigm for organizing collected content and it’s worth mentioning it twice—it collects content visually.
Note: Toobla was in the DemoPit of TC50 in 2008
Although somewhat similar to visual book-marker Evernote and visual browser Cooliris, Toobla is simpler conceptually in that there is very little set up required at an account level in order to get started. It is intuitive—you look at the site and just know what to do. I think this is because it uses a familiar “folder” motif for saving thumbnails of web content (whole pages, individual movie clips, links, images). Once collected, you can then share whole folders of content with others, via shortened URL, or by embedding the folder into any website as a widget. The quick, casual nature of this collection method is facilitated through the site’s convenient “bookmarklet” that is a cinch for working quickly and I think that must be Toobla’s main advantage—it really makes it easy to “bookmark first, evaluate later”. That works well for a person like me (who keeps everything of recent importance on the computer desktop).
You can share all sorts of things including little Flash games, widgets, and multimedia. Think of it as an embeddable locker of sorts.
But don’t take my word for it; give it a try! Toobla has made pre-launch accounts available for 1000 lucky CrunchGear/TechCrunch readers. Get signed up by clicking here.
But there is more planned for the public beta launch like implementing Facebook Connect technology and tight integration with Facebook’s activity feed. The service is already integrated with twitter. But there are still even more plans that we will come back to in the near future as I think these guys are really onto something! Stay tuned.
Toobla consists of founder Jake Saxbe, CEO and former Digg VP Brian Link, lead developer Matt Yoho, developer Mike Busch and intern developer Tony Schneider.
By the way, here is a folder of content I have shared as a widget. You can see how a Toobla folder can be a quick snapshot, representing whatever online content you are thinking about at a specific time. In my case it was The Pixies among other things. I noticed a few issues with the widget pop up window (*update – namely that it is not really working right now), but its important to note, this is still in beta. You can see the promise of the technology.