Earlier this year, we featured a stealth startup called Qitera, which just launched publically today. At its core, Qitera is a social bookmarking service, but unlike most of its competitors, Qitera can not only save a screenshot of the site, but also the full text of every web page you bookmark, including those hidden behind paywalls. Qitera is probably best understood as an interesting mashup of Furl, delicious, and Twine, with a little bit of Iterasi thrown in for good measure.

When we first wrote about Qitera, it looked like a semantic web app, but in the public version that is available now, these semantic features have taken a backseat in favor of creating a very capable social bookmarking service.

The emphasis of the application is on its ability to search the full text of your bookmarked sites, even if those were originally hidden behind paywalls or if you had to log in to the site. This is great if you want to save bookmarks for research, or even if you just want to keep a copy of a social network profile.

Features

In Qitera, you can organize your bookmarks around 'topics.' These topics can also be shared with your contacts on Qitera, though it doesn't seem like Qitera allows for collaborative bookmarking.

You can also see an Iterasi-like live copy of your bookmarked site, though Qitera sadly doesn't recognize when you save the same page twice.

Among Qitera's other interesting features are a Cover Flow-like view of your screenshots, the ability to rate other users' shared items, and a news feed with updates from all your contacts.

Qitera works with every browser. Firefox users can install a small extension, while IE, Safari, or Chrome users get a bookmarklet with the same functionality.

What's Missing?

One feature we are missing from Qitera is the ability to share a certain topic directly on the web. While Qitera is currently a great private research tool, being able to share your topics publically would be also be very useful.

It would also be nice if you could share items not just with other Qitera users, but also with your friends on FriendFeed, Twitter, or Facebook. While Qitera allows you to bookmark and search sites hidden behind paywalls, the site itself does feel a bit like a walled garden (which, for a lot of users, may not even be a bad thing).

Verdict

At first, we were skeptical about yet another social bookmarking tool, but after testing it for a while, we can see how Qitera can be a highly useful research tool - especially thanks to its ability to bookmark and search pages from the 'deep web.' Instead of just having to rely on tags, you can now create small, custom search engines for all of your bookmarks.