For creative pros and designers of all kind, social bookmarking has finally evolved into a new form of web presentation that is as user-friendly as it is well-organized for our aesthetic approval.
While social bookmarking is not a new concept, with sites like Del.icio.us and StumbleUpon that organize your favorite Websites, and Digg to save favorite articles, a new breed of social bookmarking sites is emerging that is setting a new standard for bookmarking inspirational images and videos on the web.
If you haven’t already discovered Pinterest, Wookmark and Image Spark , check out details about these sites, below. All three sites offer a great way to find inspiration, track trends, and express your own personal style and creativity in the form of virtual inspiration/mood boards.
Below I’ve outlined the basic services and options available on the sites, along with a brief review. It’s the Social Bookmarking Website Showdown! Enjoy…
Cost: Free with invitation-only membership.
Services: Curate your own virtual pin boards. in the category of your choice. The site offers a search function, categories for browsing others’ images, video bookmarking, the ability to upload your own images, the ability to collaborate to create boards, and Facebook/Twitter integration.
The formal description: “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”
Review: To bookmark an image from any Website, Pinterest makes it easy to install the “Pin It” Button directly from its site to the bookmarks menu in your browser. You can search the main page to browse inspirational images that others have bookmarked in categories like Design and Prints & Posters, share boards with other contributors, and subscribe to other pinners’ boards, most of which are trend-saavy fashion and home decor bloggers. The site also recently launched the ability to “pin” videos, and the integration with Facebook is seamless. Unlike Wookmark and ImageSpark, there is no option to make boards private.
In a nutshell: “Wookmark is a place to collect what inspires you on your travels across the creative web.”
Cost: Free with limited services. You may also add Wookmark Plus for other services (Pricing is still be determined, but will likely be $15 for 6 months).
Services: With a free account you can curate your own virtual mood boards, and use the search function to browse and bookmark others’ images. With a Wookmark Plus Account you may upload your own images, collaborate to create boards, create private boards or groups, and save images to your Dropbox account.
The formal description: “Curate your own virtual bulletin boards to collect images from all over the web of visuals that inspire you. Wookmark is used to:
1) Save images from any website with one click, upload your own, and keep them all in one place.
2) Browse and comment on thousands of images uploaded by the Wookmark community.
3) Create a moodboard for your next design project, visually organize recipes, make a gift list and more.”
Review: Like Pinterest, Wookmark provides a “Wookmark” button that you drag to your bookmarks menu in your browser. There is an option to search keywords, or tags, to browse others’ bookmarked images (my favorite search is “typography”), but its public images aren’t categorized like on Pinterest. However, like Pinterest, Wookmark offers the option to add others’ bookmarked images to your own virtual board in a seamless manner and unlike Pinterest, you don’t have to create individual boards to bookmark images.
In a nutshell: “A creative tool that helps you collect, discover, share, tag and converge images that inspire you and your work, whether you’re a fashion designer, web designer, or just redesigning your bathroom.”
Cost: Free account for two moodboards and 1GB of storage. Currently there isn’t an option to upgrade your account for additional perks, but the team says that they may add additional services in the future according to its FAQ page.
Services: Bookmark images onto virtual moodboards by right-clicking on images using a Firefox plug-in, capturing screenshots using a Mac Application, or upload your own images. The moodboards are also editable!
The formal description: “Most of our creative people at Teehan+Lax keep a collection of things found online to look to later for inspiration — we’re constantly hoarding photos, typography examples, data visualizations and interface elements. In the days before Image Spark, we used to take screenshots and save images to desktop where eventually they would find their way into folders to flip through later. Not only was this process pretty cumbersome, but the end product wasn’t very good for sharing. So truthfully, we built this tool to help our creative process, but we realized early on you might have uses for it too.”
Perks: Unlike Pinterest and Wookmark, Image Spark offers a huge list of tags listed alphabetically to sort images. You can also search images based on the time they were uploaded (this week, last month, newest, etc.). When you bookmark others’ images, the site automatically generates tags for you to choose from, which is nice when you’re “image sparking” in a rush. Scrolling through the community images gets a little bit cumbersome due to the multi-page navigation, but Image Spark offers the unique ability to resize and organize images on your own board with some handy options like “snap to grid” (see below).
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