I spend a lot of time online, and am not afraid to download widgets or tools or ’stuff’ to enhance my own online experience. Mostly I download tools that save me time and energy.
(I just, for example, finally downloaded TweetDeck yesterday, and am not sure I’m going to use it. I love the idea of being able to set up a group of Twitterers to watch, and the tag cloud, but mostly it feels too complicated and (literally) dark. I really like the basic, whimsical Twitter interface.)
I started working for a company last month that has just launched a cool little tool that has really changed the way I think of saving time and energy. Suddenly I can share my work and the savings more easily with others.
I have been entirely too selfish (in many ways) with my online experience, in spite of sharing my more ponderous thoughts here, and my more personal life in Twitter.
Smub: All-in-One Link Branding, Bookmarking, Sharing ToolÂ
Smub, (sounds like pub, unless you pronounce it with the fabulous French accents the founders have, then it sounds a little like poub) is a remarkably simple tool with a surprising breadth of real world applications. I’ll explain the overview here, and walk through a few case studies here and there over the next few days.
Once you sign up for your Smub account, you simply type Smub.it/ to the left of http:// in any browser (on your PC, your iPhone, your Blackberry…) and you’ll be able to personalize and name your Smub.
Once you see it, you ‘get’ it. Follow this smub to the video on YouTube (I tried to embed the code and it messed up my fancy blog formatting, so I’m smubbing instead!):
(the actual link reads http://smub.it/janet/video)
Pretty easy to remember. Even for someone on information overload like me.
The Perfect Smub Scenario
Let’s say I’m going to Poppy in Seattle for lunch this weekend. I’ve never been there before, so I head over to Google Maps, where I can see a street by street view of how to get there. It gives me a lovely URL that I can share with others:
Uh huh. I can type smub.it/ in front of that behemoth and save it under a memorable, share-able name…
That’s something even my mom can hear and remember. So (inevitably, when she calls) I can be in my car going 60 miles an hour up the road, and give her the map I’ve already made for myself by simply saying, “mom, type in http://smub.it/janet/poppy” and you’ll be able to see where we’re going.
I know I could have used TinyURL to do the same thing, but neither my mom nor I would remember this:
“No, mom, it’s five… w… o… p…, yes, p as in Peter, QUE r….”
“Yes, P as in Peter.”
“No, I think it’s five w, not four…”
And anyone can read a Smub. You don’t have to be a registered user to do so.
Just type in http://smub.it/janet/smubrelease to any browser and you’re there.
Try it from your smartphone for extra credit. Really, do. The mobile application is especially cool, because you can stay on one page and capture the link to rename, bookmark and share it. Smub is free, and in beta, looking for feedback. I encourage folks to give it a try.
Warning to my friends: pretty soon I’ll be speaking in Smubs: “just go to Janet/video.” “Just go to jlj/twitter”… etc.