I can’t count how many CD-Rs and DVD-Rs I’ve used up during my tenure as a geek (not even counting the “coasters” I’ve created). I am very much a packrat, both online and off, but hey, we’re not here to talk about my bad habits.
If you are a packrat like myself, you’ll have likely tapped several services in an effort to store, share, and backup all your digital things and information: Flickr, Picasa, Sandy, Mozy, Delicious, Gmail, G-Reader, G-Anything…I could go on all day.
Packrats, meet your new best friend. Hordit, a service that will enter open beta this month, aims to be all those things, and then some, encouraging users to store “virtually anything.”
You’ll start by signing up and creating your profile, used to identify you to other users when you send them files, links or messages. There are social applications here: You can have “friends,” “followers,” or share files within a group based around a topic of interest, such as “Google watchers” or “Web development.”
Once you sign in you’re at your Desktop, which shows your files in a Windows-Explorer-like interface. You may add, rename, delete, and nest folders within each other. You can’t miss the big button on the left that simply says “store something.”
Holding your pointer over that button presents you with your choices: Save or import bookmarks, upload a photo, a video, a contact, a simple text note, or any other file. Browser-exported bookmark files can be uploaded to give you a head start. I have yet to upload any file type that Hordit won’t accept. Stored items can be marked “public” or “private” by default, so you’re not forced to be social with your items. I’ve prepared a screencast here that will illustrate Hordit’s upload process.
File storage is only part of what Hordit offers. Another option on your Desktop is your Daily Read. This is where you can keep track of any sites or feeds that you wish to follow. Feed items can be saved to your Hordit account as a bookmark or to your “look later” list. Everything you store can be tagged for later searching. One of Hordit’s more-advanced features is the Research Assistant, which combs sites of your choosing for any topic you can come up with. This list of sites is separate from your Daily Read list.
I also introduced my wife Heather to the service. At first, she was a bit overwhelmed by the somewhat-busy interface. However once she saw the Firefox toolbar in action, she was sold. According to her, the Hordit toolbar, plus StumbleUpon, “formed Voltron” for her (Look it up, kids). God, I love that nerdy woman.
Hordit’s FAQ promises unlimited storage space. That’s “unlimited” without an asterisk. They really seem to mean it. When considering a free service such as this, one must ask: What’s in it for the guys running this thing? How does Startup X plan to make any money? When I asked Hordit founder Matt Brown this same question, he stated that the service would always be free but may be ad-supported in the future and possibly supplemented with paid-premium features. They are also looking at ways to leverage the Byteswap platform, on which Hordit is built, as a revenue source.
As usual, we at MakeUseOf, when we’re not fighting off domain pirates, have your beta hook-up. The first 100 of you lovely, wonderful, supportive readers
who sign up (See update below) with beta-code “MUO123” get a sneak peek at the service. If the code doesn’t work for you, please feel free to post a comment asking to be invited in.
Please keep in mind that, just with any other beta software, there may be hiccups in the system, so let’s all be good little beta testers and send in bug reports! In my talks with Matt Brown, I’ve noticed that he is very receptive to feature suggestions, so feel free to send those in as well.
There are literally countless file storage and file sharing tools out there (many of them profiled on Make Use Of), and Hordit is but one of them. What are your favorites? What features would you like out of Hordit? Please let us know in the comments!
Update: The service is no longer available