Meet Pearltrees: Bookmarks with a social twist

Pearltrees is a new web service that brings a social twist to bookmarking
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

A French Web site, called Pearltrees, is developing a Web service that is trying to bring a social networking element to bookmarking - but with the connections based on content instead of people. Think Facebook and Twitter mixed with one Amazon's recommendation system.

You don't add friends in Pearltrees. Instead, you add links. As you come across something on the Internet that interests you, something that you might have otherwise bookmarked or tweet, you put it in your personal pearltree - which is really like a "main folder," that contain the links themselves, called "pearls."

Here's the trick: if there are others on Pearltree who have also posted that same URL into one of their own pearltrees, you are now connected and can see their other links. No, that doesn't mean you're "friends" with that person or that you are even "following" them. You both just chose to save the same link in Pearltree - and chances are good that person may have saved some links that might be of interest to you.

The service, which is free, is still in alpha mode and has limited functionality and exposure. For the most part, it's only been used in France, but the company is making a push into the U.S. now. The execs are also working on an integration with Twitter, which would allow the links embedded into a tweet to also be placed into Pearltrees, as well. And, there are also plug-ins (Firefox and IE) or bookmarklets (Chrome and Safari) to get content into Pearltrees.

For now, it's a bit buggy but the concept is pretty solid. The stuff that I discover is "pushed" at me via Twitter and Facebook is based on the interests of people I know. That doesn't mean we share common interests all the time, though, and much of that content may not even be worth reading.

With Pearltrees, I "pull" information that's more likely to be relevant to my interests. There's certainly some value in that.

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