Today we take some time to dive into Clipboard, an intriguing new Web clipping and social bookmarking service started recently by Gary Flake, a former Overture executive who went on to found both Yahoo’s Research Labs and Microsoft’s Live Labs. We’ve also learned the names of the fledgling company’s many, top notch investors.
Clipboard aims to become the go-to service for saving and sharing the relevant parts of any page or service available on the Web, including much of its core functionality, or put differently taking care of everything in between simply bookmarking a URL and having to save an entire Web page.
Using a bookmarklet, Clipboard users can ‘clip’ things like search query results, stock quotes, tweets or Facebook status updates, video clips, images with captions, a Google Maps map, a forum answer, an Amazon book review, an eBay product summary, a digital coupon, and the likes.
Select part of a Web page or service, and use your mouse (simply by hovering over something or, preferably, by using the scroll wheel) to increase or decrease the number of ‘zones’ you would like to clip. Your selection – including links and images etc. – will be saved to your Clipboard profile instantly, and you can jump straight to it to visit your clip collection. Difficult to make it any easier.
Check out Flake’s public clips to get a better idea of what Clipboard can do. A screenshot of mine:
Clips can be annotated, saved, shared publicly and with specific users, tagged and all that jazz. But you can also just bookmark simple services you use, games you play, or parts of Web pages you often visit, and interact with your clips by visiting just one website instead of all them separately.
Having tested the service extensively over the past week, I’ve run into some of its limitations, and some bugs which have since been squashed. Not all of a site’s functionality can be simply clipped to Clipboard, as you will notice, but that’s of course not necessarily their fault. Inevitably, some services that reside on other websites or rely on third-party API calls or whatever, will be tougher to clip in full.
For basic things like saving search results, Web videos, simple Flash games, Wolfram Alpha results, online coupons and so on, Clipboard works like a charm most of the time though. It’s addictive, too.
Don’t take my word for it. You can visit this promo page to gain early access to Clipboard. Note that this link will only work when you click on it from the TechCrunch website.
Oh, and about the company’s backers. TechCrunch has learned that Clipboard has raised an undisclosed amount of financing from the following, impressive list of investors:
– Andreessen Horowitz
– Index Ventures
– CrunchFund (note: TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is a founding partner)
– SV Angel / Ron Conway
– First Round Capital
– CODE Advisors
– Founder’s Co-Op
– Acequia Capital
– Vast Ventures
– Ted Meisel (former CEO of Overture and now at Elevation Partners)
– Blake Krikorian (former CEO of Sling and now an Amazon board member)
– the elusive Vivi Nevo
Clipboard is expected to debut its service in public beta in the coming months (again, TechCrunch readers can get early access to the current version of Clipboard right here).
Alternatively, you watch the video below to get an idea of how Clipboard works.