Home Take Evernote, Add a Hi-Liter And You Have Scrible

Take Evernote, Add a Hi-Liter And You Have Scrible

A new webpage annotation service launched this week name Scrible that aims to make the online research, note taking and organization easier and more intuitive.

Scrible is a toolbar that Web users can install on their bookmark bar that gives a variety of options to annotation of the Internet. It can highlight text, take notes, bold, underline and italicize text on a Web page and then save the page with the notations to a personal library. As far as the ability to manipulate words on a page and save those notes, the Web has not seen anything quite like Scrible.

Researchers, students, writers and journalists are all over the Web, all the time. There are a lot of instances where there is information we want that we mean to take a note on but do not and forget where we found it when trying to remember hours or days later. With Scrible you can highlight the information on the page, add context and stow it away for later use on a project.

There are a fair amount of note taking and page savers out there. Evernote is one of the most popular and will allow users to take notes within the app or save an entire article to the cloud to be accessible anywhere. It also does audio and pictures and is available on the desktop, Android and iOS. Scrible is not to that point, at least not yet. Your notes are available in your digital locker through a browser. CEO and founder Victor Karkar told tech blogger Robert Scoble that eventually there is iPad functionality in the works.

Say you are a student working on your thesis. During one of my (several) thesis, I remember having stacks of 30 page reports that I had printed out entirely just because I wanted one quote on a single page. With Scrible I could save the page with the highlighted information and give the bibliographical annotation within my personal library. Save some trees, eliminate the clutter on my desk and in my computer.

Humble Beginnings

Karkar came up with the idea while in college and has bootstrapped the company. He started working on it while backpacking in India and moved home into his parents while starting development. When he got married, his wife moved in as well.

Karkar is now out of the basement and Scrible has launched to public beta and has secured $500,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation.

“We wanted a service that came everywhere you go on the Internet,” Karkar said. “We wanted to set a high bar because if we don’t people won’t use it and go back to what they were using like copying and pasting into a word document or printing documents and annotating them with an actual physical hi-liter.”

The goal of Scrible has been from the start to make a more intuitive annotation system in a market sphere that many had forgotten or given up on.

“We try to focus on the user experience so it will be easy to use so it won’t be in the way,” Karkar said.

The idea of Scrible is to improve upon annotation services of past that have moved on to other areas of the Internet. Kakar said it would have been a great tool for him in grad school while he was trying to use services like Diigo and WebNotes but found them to be inadequate and harder to use. Karkar pointed out that he does not want to come out as overtly negative about the tools that have come in this space before since the ability to function everywhere on the Internet is an extremely hard thing to do and getting the user experience right is the difficult part.

Diigo also does a personal library with highlight and note functions and, unlike Scrible, is available on iOS and Android. WebNotes has the ability to digitally highlight PDFs, something that Scrible cannot yet do. One aspect that Scrible has an advantage over those tools though is the ability to have the toolbar anywhere and everywhere.

“Of all the people who have tried this before there were ways that the manipulated the physical workflow,” Karkar said. “We saw a lot of low hanging fruit in this space between when you finish a Google search to when you finish your publishable material.”

Scrible is actively pursuing comments and feedback while in public beta. Take a cruise on over to see what you think of the toolbar and let us know what you think of the service in the comments.

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