Introducing ClipSearch

This is a big one for us. So far, Clipmarks has relied solely on user-generated tags to power our search. But after a number of requests from our users, it finally sunk in, “why the heck aren’t we letting people do keyword searches based on the content inside of clips?” Talk about the easiest, most powerful way to keep track of the stuff you find online! Just clip things you find and have them automatically added to your own keyword searchable library. Each clipper is literally filtering the web to their liking and should have a search engine that lets them easily sort through it all. Brilliant! Well, today I am very excited to announce the introduction of ClipSearch!!

ClipSearch doesn’t only apply to each user’s library of clips. It also powers the search in the public library of clips on our site. So, anytime you want to find clips about something you’re interested in, you can find matching ones regardless of whether they have matching tags.

And in a tip-of-the-cap to StumbleUpon, we wanted to let visitors to the site jump around from topic to topic, without knowing what would come next. So we’ve introduced the “Surprise Me” button. The idea here is that you don’t always know what topic you’re interested in, but you’d like to explore until you find one. It’s just like turning on the tv and not knowing what you want to watch, but using the remote control to change the channel until you find something good.

In addition to ClipSearch and Surprise Me, we made a couple of other changes to the Clipmarks web site…

1) Live update: The list of results no longer updates in real time unless you want it to. We’ve started to worry lately that the list is moving a bit too quickly (accidentally clicking on the wrong clip title became a too familiar occurrence for us 🙂 ). But, if you want the live update on, just switch it on in the lower-left corner of the Clip List and check the “remember this” box in the window that opens.

2) 40 instead of 100: Each set of results now lists 40 clips instead of 100. The reason for this (aside from slightly less load on our server which will speed things up a bit) is that we just think 100 choices is too many to make. It’s like those chapters in a book that are so short and sweet you just feel good reading them. I would much rather read 5 chapters that are 6 pages each than one 30 page chapter. That’s kind of the thinking behind the change to showing 40 results at a time.

3) 3rd Line: Instead of showing who the latest user to pop a clip was, the third line of each clip in the list on the home page now displays the clipper’s original remarks. The main issue we’re addressing with this change is the desire to give greater attention to a clipper’s remarks, as we believe they play a big roll in defining a clip. Another reason for this change is some feedback we’ve received from users who said they often held back from popping clips that they thought deserved to be popped because they didn’t want to be perceived as taking over the home page clip-list. While we certainly hope people still use discretion when deciding what clips to pop, we don’t want to make anyone feel tentative about having their name show up too much. I have to admit, I’m very uncertain and nervous about this change. But, one of the beautiful things about developing something on the web is that you can always react quickly if you change your mind or make a mistake. So, we’ll be watching and listening closely to see what kind of impact this has.

I hope you like the changes we’re introducing today. FYI…if you need some tips on doing a ClipSearch, visit this page.

Ready to get surprised? Try it now:
Surprise Me

More soon.

— eric

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5 responses to “Introducing ClipSearch

  1. Bravo! I like the idea of the changes you’ve listed. I think I will like them a lot.

    Not to be stealing away thunder from your accomplishments, but I have found it somewhat difficult to figure out how to submit feature requests. What’s the best avenue for providing feedback and submitting requests? It might be cool if you had a link to that medium on your blog’s homepage or on the Clipmarks homepage.

    One thing I’d really like to see is something like an addition to the browser extensions such that if I’ve browsed to a page that has been clipped, I get something like a notification that I can click on to see what’s been clipped, who has clipped it, and what their comments were. I think that would be very powerful in fostering clip awareness.

    I was also wondering if there would be a way for you guys to work with Feedburner to setup a Feed Splicer for our clips. They’ve already done that with del.icio.us and several other linking sites. To be honest, that feed splicing is one of the last reasons why I even use del.icio.us. I know Clipmarks isn’t exactly a link site, but there are certain advantages to kinda acting like one. 🙂

    I hope what I said makes sense. If you have questions or anything, I’m happy to provide more feedback. Just e-mail me.

  2. Oh, one more suggestion… Can we have a switch to automatically post-to-blog when saving a clip? Then maybe you wouldn’t need to worry about the feed splicing. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Clipmarks Adds Searching Across All Tags

  4. Hey guys,

    I know I am a little bit late with commenting but I was offline for a couple of weeks because we just moved to the cape verdean islands and the whole nation was offline… 😉
    Back to topic:
    Congratiulations to this update! I already told you how awesome the new stuff is during the test of the new features…
    I created a Firefox Search Plugin for your new search, which can be found here: http://clipmarks.com/clipmark/3872850B-95A4-4460-BAD0-EE5D41A2DF4A/

    Have a nice day or night,

    Fu

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