[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was briefed on these features while they were in development and I was involved in on-going consulting as they came to fruition. I recommend you read this post with that grain of salt in mind.]
Portland-based Iterasi is on a mission to save the Web from extinction. Or at least the Web page at which you’re looking right at this moment. So they keep coming up with ways for you to save Web pages—in all of their functional HTML glory—as quickly and easily as possible.
First came the toolbar, then the Firefox add-in, and now there’s the Iterasi bookmarklet, which allows users to save pages without installing anything. To try it out, click on the link below and you’ll see how it works. (And if you want to take it with you, simply drag-and-drop it to your bookmarks bar.)
In addition to the new bookmarklet, Iterasi has done more organizing to make their archive of Web pages for accessible and digestible. Tags are more prevalent and usable. And there’s a search function.
You save a page, make it public, and it winds up on the archive page for that site. Just the push of a button and you’ve made history. Or at least saved it for everyone to see. And while there’s not much there now, this has the potential to become a valuable resource for everyone. A sort of Wikipedia-esque archive of the Web.
For more on the new features, see Iterasi’s post. To test drive the products or search the archive, visit Iterasi.
[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was aware of this feature under development, but I was not involved in this release. Quite frankly, it took me by surprise. But it makes sense that they’re pushing it while they’re down at the TechCrunch 50.]
Okay. That may be a little hyperbolic, but there’s a lot of truth to that.
With social bookmarking, I was able to save site locations, tag them in a meaningful way, and get to them from any browser with an Internet connection.
It may not seem like a big deal now. But back then? It was “You mean my bookmarks aren’t beholden to this one browser on this one machine? Oh my. Very cool.”
But my bookmarks always suffered from a problem that I couldn’t solve with just a link.
And that was? Well, sometimes the page just changed. The story or the thing I thought was important or—worst of all—the cool design that I wanted to rip-off save for inspiration.
Screenshots were a workaround. But they were never really what I wanted.
What I wanted was to save the page.
Fast forward to today.
I’m sitting on a ton of bookmarks. I use social bookmarking sites like ma.gnolia and del.icio.us every day, if not several times a day. They have become so much a part of the way that I use the Web—and the way that I share and glean information from others—that social bookmarking would be an incredibly hard habit to break.
But I still worry about losing the page I actually wanted.
Well, now, that problem is solved thanks to still just barely Vancouver-based and ever-so-close to being Portland-based Iterasi and their new “import bookmarks” feature:
This feature imports bookmarks from Firefox, Internet Explorer, del.icio.us and/or from any app that exports to the standard bookmark export format. So you tell it where your bookmarks are, we import them and make permanent copies of the pages the bookmarks point to. No more lost articles. No more link rot. No more Error 404s. But we don’t just import them. Import Bookmarks is built on top of the iterasi Scheduler – released last month – so one-by-one you can choose to archive each bookmark once, every day, week or month, or not a all.
Now, granted, that’s not going to do much for the links that have already aged. But from now on? I can be sure that I’ll have exactly the page I wanted to save.
Saving bookmarked pages in Iterasi is great, but not using Iterasi is even better
As excited as I am about this feature to extend the use of Iterasi, there’s one thing I’m even more excited about: not having to use Iterasi.
Huh? Stick with me here.
I’ve developed a workflow for saving links and—as chagrin as I am to admit it—Iterasi isn’t part of that workflow.
It’s an afterthought. A habit I’m trying to force.
But with this feature? That problem is solved, too.
Now that Iterasi can import bookmarks, I can work in my preferred social bookmarking tool and still have Iterasi saving the pages for me.
I can fly around willy nilly tagging things in del.icio.us or saving them to the Silicon Florist group on ma.gnolia. All the while, knowing that I can bring those over to Iterasi to make an archived copy.
And that’s pretty cool.
I can work where I’m comfortable working without losing the ability to save things I really want to save. And that makes this new import bookmarks feature very powerful indeed.
The feature, however, does come with a caveat:
If you have lots of bookmarks, it is best to schedule it to run when you are away from your computer. Think about it; we are feeding dozens and dozens of bookmarks down to the browser who is one-at-a-time loading, notarizing, and shipping each up to your account. In other words, we are torturing the poor browser. As you might expect, the browser can lock up under this kind of load. We find this situation to be unavoidable.
After a long weekend at Gnomedex and a—no doubt—“conversation crammed” late-night ride to Portland on the Iterasi Magic Bus, Sarah Lacy took time out of her travels to spend some time chatting with Portland folks at the Green Dragon, last night.
A number of folks got into some pretty in-depth conversations with Sarah. And from what I could hear, those chats made the trip well-worth Sarah’s time.
The Portland stop on her junket was part of her User Generated Book Tour to promote Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good. And I’m proud to say that Portland was one of 13 cities that made the cut. Thanks, in no small part, to folks writing in and asking Sarah to stop by.
So thank you to all of the folks who wrote in and to all of you who took time out of your weekend to swing by and meet Sarah.
As I always say, I think it’s incredibly important for folks from outside of Portland and the Silicon Forest to meet the people who are doing cool things here. To get an understanding of what’s happening in our area. And to get them as excited about what we’re doing as we are.
I think we succeeded in doing that last night. And, I know Sarah really appreciated your being there, too.
But what if you couldn’t make it?
Buck up, little camper. Don’t be sad.
We’re already working—lobbying heavily, in fact—to get Sarah back to town soon.
And Sarah’s assistant, Olivia (who is from Portland), will be here in town for a few more days. So we’ll work on getting her out at some more of the Portland events.
Well, see here’s the thing. Sarah and Olivia had a few books and a couple of t-shirts and some stickers and stuff left. And they were going to have to check bags. And I knew that you would really like the book.
So, here’s what I did: I kinda bought them out.
And I was thinking of selling them on eBay—I mean, they’re signed and everything—but I like you more than eBay.
So I got this idea.
Join Friends of the Florist
You’ve been working hard and being good and whatnot. You deserve a little reward.
And then there’s me. I don’t really do anything and yet, every once in a while, I kind of stumble into some cool stuff. Like multiple copies of Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good, for example.
Seems like there’s some kind of disconnect here, doesn’t it?
It struck me that, for all the nice things you do for me—like creating cool stuff for me to write about and showing up at cool events and being interesting—I’m not really pulling my weight.
By joining Friends of the Florist, you’ll get the opportunity to receive random physical mailings from me from time to time. No spam. No ads. Just cool stuff—or at least stuff I think is cool—from people like you who are busting their proverbial humps to make cool things.
Well, and you’ll probably get some Silicon Florist stuff every once in a while, too.
Iterasi, the currently Vancouver-based but soon to be Portland-based company that allows you to create your own personal Web archive, has released the latest version of its service. And some people are taking notice. [Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine.]
Use the iterasi Scheduler to automatically Notarize pages when you tell it to, without having to be there to push the button. Set up the Scheduler to Notarize a page every day, week or month at a time that you choose. Great for tracking blogs, reviews, retail sites, and just about anything you can think of. Use the Scheduler to build your own history of any website!
No more switching over to my Windows machine to save pages. With the latest release, I can do it right from my Mac. Simple.
Now, granted, I’m a little biased since Iterasi is a client, but I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to see another Silicon Forest based company—joining the ranks of Vidoop and others—getting recognition on such an international stage.
Web page archiving tool Iterasi is getting a small but important update Tuesday morning. Users can now share their stream of archived pages with others as an RSS feed, letting anyone view their saved items either directly in their browser or in a feed-capturing tool like Google Reader or desktop e-mail clients.
In my opinion, these seemingly innocuous changes actually mark a decided change in Iterasi’s stance. With these features, Iterasi moves from being an interesting personal service toward becoming a valuable social service. And by embracing features that allow me to distribute my saved pages to a much, much wider audience, they gain the benefit of more people encountering their service.
I have found a great deal of value in being able to save pages for myself. But now that I have the option of sharing pages with folks? It opens a whole new realm of use for me. Like a more typical social bookmarking service.
Fringe benefits abound. With RSS feeds and widgets, Iterasi just increased its exposure exponentially. I’ve added the widget to this post and I’ll likely add it to the blog (once the Mac version is out and I can use the service regularly.) And, I’m adding the RSS feed to my lifestreaming services, like FriendFeed and Strands.
What’s more, by launching public pages, Iterasi has the potential to rapidly increase its online footprint for search engines and the like—like any other public-facing social network service.
Now, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. As with any new feature on a BETA product, there are some rough spots and some nice-to-haves that didn’t make the cut. There are some areas over which I would like to have control, like skinning the widget and dealing with the publishing function.
But as I’ve mentioned, I see this release as less about “features” and more about “vision.” It’s clear to me that Iterasi is taking a much more social stance. And that’s a very good thing.
[Full discloure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I worked with them a great deal on the initial announcement of their product in February, but aside from some ad hoc consultation, I did not participate in this launch.]
Vancouver-based Iterasi, the service that allows you to run your own personal Wayback Machine, has come out of private BETA and announced general availability for the Windows version of their browser toolbar. Using the toolbar, you gain the ability to capture an entire Web page, exactly as you see it—dynamic elements and all—and save it in that state, forever.
As you’ll see from the embedded page, Iterasi saves the entire Web page as fully functional HTML, including any AJAX wackiness or completed form fields. In many ways, it’s the evolution of bookmarking. Moving from saving the location of a Web page to saving the Web page, itself.