Hoover-ize Your Start Page

One of the features of the mobile Opera browser that I really love is its startpage which shows little thumbnails of your favorite web pages for one-click access. SiteHoover (link here) is a free, web-based app that provides the same service, plus a bit more. From the site:

Imagine a place in which you store all of your favorite websites. Imagine that it is available from any computer in the world. Imagine that it informs you about new stuff coming up on each of your favorite websites…
This place is called a hoover.

The start page consists of little “hoover” thumbnails that you can fill in with the URLs to your favorite web pages. Create as many as you would like and your page starts to look like a window filled with web-panes. Each pane is dynamically updates as the underlying URLs are updated. Cool!

Sitehoover also offers a foldering / bookmarking function – you can create folders and fill with bookmarks. These are not the same as hoovers and do not show on your page, but you can easily access them by clicking the folder links.

Set your Sitehoover page as your homepage on your desktop, or navigate to your Sitehoover on any computer anywhere, and open your window to the Web!

One Step Closer to Efficient Off-Line Reading

I use Instapaper, an off-line reading tool, but not as much as I should. I use Google Reader, an on-line RSS reader, but I often don’t have the time to devote the proper attention to every interesting article. In Reader, I “star” a lot of articles that I plan to go back and consume later, but many times, later never comes.

Enter InstaReader, a free plug-in that bridges the gap. Lifehacker tipped me to the tool, which can be found here. Simply feed the RSS feed from your Google Reader starred items into InstaReader on your desktop and it will automatically update Instapaper with your starred items every few minutes. Load Instapaper into your iPhone, remember to sync before you go off-line and your are good to go!

A Full-Court Press … Release

Do your firm or your clients have a need for a press release service? Do you believe everything tastes better with some social media spice? PressDoc is a new European company specializing in press releases with a social media flair. PressDoc understands that journalism has become less corporate and more homegrown and that there is a very real need for press that plays nice with traditional social media services and sharing activity.

PressDoc promises more than the “page long PDF filled with text.” Instead, PressDoc believes that a release must be “easy to skim, very easy to share, if possible include multimedia such as images/videos, and up-to-date contextual information to the last minute. All things the traditional press release generally isn’t capable of.” Features include:

  • Optimized for sharing via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Enrich your press release with images, videos and documents.
  • Scheduled distribution; set a date and time and it will be published automatically.
  • Detailed analytics on who’s reading your release and what they are saying about it.
  • A very easy-to-use interface.
  • All your press releases in one place with PressRooms.
  • Integrate a basic version of the PressRoom into your site. 
  • Very helpful founders which will assist you with any questions you might have 😉
  • Another social aspect is PressDoc’s provision of “press rooms” – sites within their sites on which companies and promoters can house their various press releases. PressDoc advises that shared press rooms are coming soon – perfect for events wherein participants can pool their topically-related releases.

    PressDoc’s are visually appealing, load quickly and are organized to optimize social sharing and linking. Check out EmbedTweet’s press release (link here). As you can see on the site, there are tweetmeme-like and sharing buttons in a familiar upper-right location, a right side bar with the company logo, contact information, website link, company RSS and Twitter stream link. The main text includes sections titled “info”, “social media pitch” (even shorter than an elevator speech), “summary”, “details”, “relevant links”,  “quotes” (that look very much like comments on a blog post), image and video thumbnails, “about”, and “latest Twitter updates.”

    How much is all this flash? The modest sum of 10 euros per doc, which translates right now to about $12.80 U.S. dollars. Sign-up is free, with no monthly service charge.

    Pretty darn cool.