Certainly not Facebook or Twitter, says Ramy Adeeb, founder of Snip.it, a startup launching this week in private beta to help you collect web content you want to save with your voice.
Adeeb, formerly a principal at Khosla Ventures, founded Snip.it as a place where people can create collections. They’re comprised of content and opinions — appropriately termed “snips” — and they can be saved privately, or shared with friends and strangers.
Snip.it users clip content as they browse the web, just as they would do using any other bookmarklet, add a little commentary of their own and then plop their digital discoveries into collections.
You can think of collections as elegantly styled, topic-themed buckets for storing the web content that relates to your interests. And you can use your collections for personal reference or as curation tools to publicly demonstrate your expertise and subject-matter knowledge.
The latter use case speaks to the very existence of the site. Adeeb, an Egyptian, was closely following the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. His inability to collect and share content in a relevant, permanent and structured fashion became the inspiration for Snip.it.
“I was glued to my laptop. I was consuming content night and day,” he says. “All my friends reached out to me and they said, ‘Ramy, what’s happening in Egypt? … What should we read?,’ and I wanted to share what my thoughts were. So I turned to social media.”
“Social media was great for real time topics, but it was very painful to actually say an opinion — something thoughtful — or to say … ‘here are the three or four articles that you should read’ … What I wanted was a place for me to collect what matters most, add my opinion and to share it with people,” he says. “In essence, I wanted a scrapbook. I wanted to collect my favorite articles, my favorite images, my favorite videos and to add my voice to it.”
Snip.it’s collections emphasize content and opinions. This is what makes it distinct from the buzzy, picture-based pinboard app Pinterest, Adeeb argues, although the differences may be hard to spot for the first-time user.
“We’re more of a new Tumblr — only we’re about curation and about emphasis on content as opposed to layout,” he says.
Snip.it strikes us as a fresh twist on yesterday’s basic bookmarking service — but instead of being a place where bookmarks go to die, Snip.it turns them into a living library organized around your interests and makes them ripe for conversation. And while each of the elements that make up the Snip.it experience are not wholly original, they work together to engineer a pleasant environment that users will want to revisit.
Snip.it has raised an undisclosed sum in funding from Koshla Ventures, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures and SV Angel.
500 Mashable readers can sign up for access to Snip.it using the code “mashable_500.”
Update: Readers are reporting issues with the sign up process. We’ve reached out to Snip.it and hope to have an update soon.
Update #2: Sign ups should be working now. “We had a minor issue with Heroku immediately after launch that is resolved now,” Adeeb tells us.
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