I know others like Pat and Seb have been noting the potentia of Furl before but I’m just getting around to playing with it. At first, I didn’t really see the big deal; click a link, annotate a bookmark and save the whole page for future reference. Nice, but not that much different from what I can do now. But I’ve been reading them long enough to know that if those guys are talking about it, it must be good and probably important. So, I dug into it a bit deeper, and now I finally see what they’re impressed with.
The makers of Furl put it this way: “Although there are overlapping features, blogs and Furl approach problems in a fundamentally different way. Blogs focus on the content you create (which often contains links) while Furl focuses on the content you consume (i.e. what the links point to).”
Better yet, Furl lets you create a bunch of different categories for the links you save and then it’ll even spit out an RSS feed for each category. Now I knew this was pretty cool when I read it, and I started playing with the idea of using Furl to send cool links to the various departments at my school (since that’s one piece of my job description that I never seem to get to.) Well, here ya’ go. My newly created English Department site includes a page just for links that is filled with sites that I have “Furled” and pushed to the page via the RSS feed. Again, not rocket science, but a pretty cool new process that allows me to update pages without ever going there. That in itself is a time saver, and the fact that I can annotate the links makes it even better.
Now, let’s take it a step further. Say I share my Furl login with a number of my colleagues who may be interested in, let’s say, the campaign of John Edwards. Whenever we come across some relevant info, we just furl the page into the Edwards category and it automatically gets sent to our aggregator or to that special page we’ve made to archive our research. Or how about this…my school sets up a Furl account, and every browser has the Furl It link on it’s toolbar. Whenever anyone at my school sees a page of interest on the
Web, they add it to our collective database. Pretty cool concept…
There’s obviously more work to be done here, and Furl has a number of other cool options that I’ve yet to get into very much. But it’s just another very interesting use spin on blogging and syndication that has a lot of potential for changing the way I read and archive the information I read. And god knows I need all the help I can get doing that.