A new online filing cabinet from Amherst | Blogads

A new online filing cabinet from Amherst

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

When we were living in Amherst, I met Michael Giles, a clever and friendly coder who had just moved to town from CA. We’ve kept in touch and I’ve been watching Mike gestate a cool tool called Furl. Beside being a nice play on URL, “to furl” means to roll up and store, which is exactly what Mike’s tool does.

At first glance, Furl seems a subset or offshoot of blogging… you use it to save URLs and comment on them on your own web page.

But once you’ve used Furl a little, you see that the tool set Mike has assembled has its own life and may hit a much broader audience — the folks who don’t have the time or ability to blog, but who do want to quickly save and share information. And Mike adds some neat features; once you’ve bookmarked an article, Furl’s server automatically stores a copy so that even months from now when that NYTimes archive page is long-locked, you can refer to the article; you can easily categorize pages and rank them; Furl also makes it easy for colleagues or peers to pool information; after downloading one nugget of code, you can Furl from your browser with a single click. You can also use a javascript to import your links somewhere else… like this:

Before you write in to tell me that Radio or Blogger or Bill Gates or Tim Berners Lee or Piltdown Man or UrMama did something like this years ago… sure, all these features are available in different forms in lots of other tools. But by putting them together in one integrated package, Mike’s done something really simple and handy.

I’m using Furl to brain-dump pages that I’d love to blog, but don’t have time to do right. Still fiddling with his marketing angle, Mike calls Furl “your online filing cabinet,” which I think does a good job of summing up the benefits of the tool for the 90% of Internet users who still think “blog” is a plumber’s term for a type of wrench.

Go help Mike beta test Furl.net.

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