The popularity of Pinterest has spawned numerous clones, with similar scrolling pages of bookmarked images and folders for managing items. So if this indeed is the era of the rise of images and the fall of the word, it’s not difficult to see why these type of sites, including Snip.it and Boxnutt are emerging.
But does that mean we need more than one place to pin, snip, and box stuff we find on the Internet? Perhaps so, because each has a different style and purpose for different types of users. Each also has limitations that might make you use one over the other.
I’m an avid fan of Pinterest, and like most users am attracted to the clean, sophisticated style of its content. Though you won’t find my Pinterest boards filled with the latest fashion trends and exotic vacation spots, you also won’t find trashy pictures and links to political articles among my pinned items. I like to post practical items, but ones that are also stylish with a flair of good design.
With its browser plug-in, Pinterest also makes it super easy to post items from any webpage. So I can pin an item/link in less than 15 seconds and get right back to what I was doing. And though it’s easy to follow people and boards of interests on the site, I can easily just scroll down the homepage of the Pinners I follow and pick and choose what I want to repin.
Pinterest is not a cluttered or awkward site to navigate; it is image-driven, which makes it faster to “read” and navigate.
It’s because of Pinterest’s say elegant style, however, that I needed a place to pin other stuff I want to review and store. An interview with the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, for example, who talks about economic inequality in America, doesn’t quite fit alongside my Pinterest board of delicious meals.
For more straightforward serious articles, I’ve chosen the recently updated and redesigned Snip.it. Its design is also clean and mostly uncluttered, but its style to me is more business-like. Unlike Pinterest, Snip invites a wider range of topics – from World Affairs, Health & Wellness, to Business, Sports and even Fashion.
Yes you could easily pin pages any of these topics to your Pinterest pages, but the question is, would you want to? I don’t. Snip for me takes the place of my old Delicious bookmarking pages, replacing long lists of titles and links with leading graphics and folders for managing my bookmarked content. Above all, I don’t have to spend time tagging items in order to bookmark them.
Snip also has a web browser plug-in for “snipping” articles and posting them to one of your Boards – whoops, I mean “Collections,” as they call them. The Snip plug-in also allows you to post that same content to your Twitter account if you choose.
With Snip, you can also connect to your Facebook account to import posts to your Snip collection. And most unique amongst these type of sites, you can favorite items in your collection that will appear on a separate page. This is useful especially for when your collections start to grow and you need a quick way to highlight particular articles and items for review.
And Then There’s Boxnutt
Now if you find Pinterest and Snip.it a little too boring or serious, and if you’re a fan of Reddit, you will probably prefer Boxnutt. With Boxnutt, you don’t pin or snip stuff, you simply share it – but not on boards or in collections, but instead in Boxes!
The Discover page of Boxnutt lists similar topic subscriptions (e.g., Technology, World News, Photos, Politics, Funny) as the other two bookmarking sites, but you might get distracted by all the looping gifs, funny images, and headlines like “When my balls are stuck to the side of my leg on a hot day.”
To be fair, serious items get posted on Boxnutt, but the site definitely has a different appeal than Pinterest and Snip, which is a good thing, as it means you have another place to store different types of stuff.
Will I be using Boxnutt? Probably not. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t yet have a web browser plug-in to bookmark content from any webpage. I’m not a big enough fan yet to click over to the site and add links to a movie, photo, or a product I want to remember.
But Boxnutt is still a cool, fun place to visit. I especially like how you can quickly “Rebox” items with the tags already included, as well enable a box to share to your Twitter stream. However, I do find the looping gifs a huge distraction, sort of like pop-up ads.