30th August, 2011

Gimme Bar opens its doors

For three days only, my favourite web-based stuff-collection service is opening its doors to the public, ahead of a full launch sometime in the near future.

Gimme Bar logo
Figure 1: Gimme Bar is opening its doors for three days only.

Last Autumn, a very excited Cameron Koczon talked me through this thing that he and his colleagues at Fictive Kin were building. It was just another scrapbooking tool, or so I thought. Walking me through an early demo version, his enthusiasm permeated my brains and I quickly began to see that this was no ordinary app. No, this was what I’d been waiting for. This was Gimme Bar.

By October, when he previewed another version at Brooklyn Beta, I was using it daily, and despite a few bumps and creases, it was already doing for me what no other competitors could.

Gimme Bar library
Figure 2: The latest Gimme Bar release in action.

Since then, I’ve tested numerous releases, watching Gimme Bar grow into a robust, feature-rich, beautiful tool that perfectly complements the way I find and store information.

So, what does it do?

Well, it does lots. With Gimme Bar, I get a cool little bookmarklet thingumajig — the bar — that I can call up on any web page. This bar is smart enough to detect what I’m trying to capture, and even delves into those hard to reach places like video embeds and undraggable Flickr images.

I can grab any image. I can grab chunks of text. I can grab most videos. I can grab stuff of Flickr. I can grab full web pages. I can even drag stuff from my desktop into the bookmarklet (on everything except that pesky Safari). All of these things can be either public or private, depending where I drag them too. I can even sync it all with my Dropbox.

Organising my stuff

So, I have this immediate library of stuff that I’ve collected, and that’s a blast. However, where subsequent releases of Gimme Bar have really cemented my loyalty are through things like Collections. These are useful for things like inspiration, research, wishlists, or telling stories.

Gimme Bar collections
Figure 3: Organising stuff into collections.

As I grab something, I can immediately archive it in one or many collections, or even create a new one. I can have public and private collections, and I can share these with anyone via a link or Twitter or whatever takes my fancy. In my library, I can drag across numerous items and perform actions on that whole group.

It’s all simple, everything doable from my Gimme Bar, or when viewing a specific thing I’ve collected. Streamlined, efficient, intuitive.

A voyage of discovery

My addiction has been confirmed with the addition of smart Discovery areas. So, I can follow all those amazing designers and cultural demigods to see what they’re collecting, and grab things for my own library. I can follow their entire Public Firehose, or just certain collections.

Other collections
Figure 4: Finding stuff in the collections of others.

To help me navigate through this tsunami of web clippings, Gimme Bar suggests notable collections, shows me what is new from my friends, and provides a Discovery feed that is kind of like crack. I just can’t stop looking at what others have found, adding all sorts of goodness to my own collections with a simple click.

More to come

So, Gimme Bar has been on a momentous journey since I first saw an early demo, and it’s already head and shoulders above many other tools I could mention.

Still, the team won’t be calling it a day just yet. I’m told an iPhone version is on the way soon, and the roadmap stretches out towards the horizon with numerous other cool and useful additions to follow.

Now is your chance!

As I said up top, Gimme Bar will be open for public signups for the next three days, the doors closing again on Friday 2nd September at some point. This gives them a chance to test the thing with a bigger user base, ahead of a full and permanent public launch in the near future.

Tools like Gimme Bar either work for you, or they don’t. The best tools scratch a personal itch, and become reliable friends as you go abouty your daily business. For me, Gimme Bar slots beautifully into that category, and I think it might just work for you too.

Fancy a quick peak? Well, here are my own Gimme Bar collections, which I’ve opted to share publicly. Nice.

Oh, and here’s a wee video overview to give you an idea of how it does what it does.


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