even on mediocre runs, I relearn life-lessons: When in doubt, run. The first step is hardest. Try new trails. Look up. Everything passes. Pick a goal and, when it’s closer, pick another. Relax your shoulders. Grinds bring glides. Embrace the burn. Say hello. Enjoy breathing.
If you’re a collector of quotes, factoids, info-nuggets and stats, Pullquote’s tagging functionality makes it easy to archive and retrieve all that cool stuff.
Now Pullquote is offering a way for you to share those gems with others and perhaps become famous within Pullquote’s ecosystem of quote fanatics.
Here’s what you need to know:
1) As an added benefit of using Pullquote to save and share quotes, other people now can subscribe to an e-mail update containing any quote you’ve assigned a specific tag to.
2) Likewise, you can get an e-mail when people you admire finds a specific quote. So, for example, you can get an e-mail when I tag a pullquote with “neurons,” a current fascination mine. Or when Sean Hackbarth tags a quote with “politics.”
This functionality, which we’ve provisionally named Quotecast, replaces Twitter’s 5000 PSI fire hose and Facebook’s mysterious swirling content waterfall with an eye-dropper, doling out doses of exactly the right content once a day. (Or less, if there’s no quotes tagged in a given do.)
3) Or you can subscribe to all of someone’s quotes.
4) Now here’s where it gets interesting for you, an early adopter of Pullquote’s tagging functionality. If you’re currently a Pullquote user, you’ll see that we’re recommending certain Pullquoter’s feeds. We’re doing this based on who does a particularly good job of tagging quotes… which means you could be a star as Pullquote grows.
So get to tagging, and we’ll put your feeds in our recommendations!
You may have noticed that Pullquote now sports a bunch of gorgeous new quote colors and fonts! Hope you like ’em.
Meanwhile, our sister site RunwMe has shed its chrysalis and emerged as Racery, which powers real races on virtual routes, whether cycling, swimming, rowing, running or walking. Also some great virtual routes for training for 5ks, 10ks and half marathons! Perfect for friends who want to run together, businesses seeking to entertain their customers, charities without the people power to host a live race, and organizations wanting to use races and challenges to inspire wellness.
Almost since the first day we launched, users have asked to be able to use Pullquote on mobile phones. Now, thanks to Apple’s iOS8, you can do it.
Think how many steps are involved in Tweeting out a piece of text right now. Copy. Open Twitter. Paste. Close Twitter. Copy URL. Open Twitter. Paste URL. Tweet.
When Apple released iOS8 it gave us the opportunity to build something that could read and quickly redirect highlighted text. We’re live and would love your feedback as we continue to tweak. Send suggestions, compliments, complaints and funny GIFs to melissa (a) pullquote . com.
Here’s the extension in action:
Androids, we haven’t forgotten you, but this code magic is still not possible there! While you wait, here’s something everyone can enjoy — PQ lead engineer Tamas and his cute bunnies explaining some of the new challenges he faced creating the iOS extension:
Before he became a novelist, Haruki Murakami ran a jazz bar in Tokyo.
In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Murakami says that running the bar taught him important lessons about writing. In short, “you can’t please everybody.” But Murakami takes that lesson to its logical extreme: you CAN do well pleasing just a few people, as long as you do it extremely well. In Murakami’s words:
A lot of customers came to the bar. If one out of ten enjoyed the place and said he’d come again, that was enough. If one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. To put it the other way, it didn’t matter if nine out of ten didn’t like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders. Still, I had to make sure that the one person who did like the place really liked it. In order to make sure he did, I had to make my philosophy and stance clear-cut, and patiently maintain that stance no matter what.
Successful writers, according to Murakami, require a nearly monastic isolation from nearby people, so the writer can focus on the reader:
I placed the highest priority on the sort of life that lets me focus on writing, not association with all the people around me. I felt that the indispensable relationship I should build in my life was not with a specific person, but with an unspecified number of readers. As long as I got my day-to-day life set so that each work was an improvement over the last, then many of my readers would welcome whatever life I chose for myself. Shouldn’t this be my duty as a novelist, and my top priority? … I can’t see my reader’s faces, so in a sense it’s a conceptual type of human relationship, but I’ve consistently considered this invisible, conceptual relationship to be the most important thing in my life.
Todd Meinershagen uses Pullquote to collect and share quotes. “I like to keep quotes about leadership, problem solving, relationships, etc. that keep me and my team motivated and inspired,” he says.
“Pullquote is sort of like Delicious as a way to store and tag quotes, but it is more granular for a given page, and it allows me to share if I want to,” says Meinershagen, who is Senior Software Architect at MedAssets, a developer of software for hospitals and clinics.
John Hermman, formerly a Tech editor at Buzzfeed and (for now) writing for The Awl, thinks we’re living in the twilight of a web site as a publication’s embodiment and lifeblood. (Here’s the full article.)
In short, “websites are unnecessary vestiges of a time before there were better ways to find things to look at on your computer or your phone.”
The only thing that keeps people coming back to apps in great enough numbers over time to make real money is the presence of other people. So the only apps that people use in the way publications want their readers to behave—with growing loyalty that can be turned into money—are communications services. The near-future internet puts the publishing and communications industries in competition with each other for the same confused advertising dollars, and it’s not even close.
Hermman points to Fusion, a joint venture of entertainment companies Disney and Univision, as an example of a new breed that isn’t site-centric.
For Fusion to talk about “promiscuous media” and “build[ing] our brand in the places [the audience] is spending time”—as opposed to publishing everything on a single website and hoping it spreads from there—is not strange in the context of television companies. They’re used to filling channels that they don’t totally control.
What’s a publisher, you ask?
[Publishers will] begin to see their websites as Just One More App, and realize that fewer people are using them, proportionally, than before. Eventually they might even symbolically close their websites, finishing the job they started when they all stopped paying attention to what their front pages looked like. Then, they will do a whole lot of what they already do, according to the demands of their new venues. They will report news and tell stories and post garbage and make mistakes. They will be given new metrics that are both more shallow and more urgent than ever before; they will adapt to them, all the while avoiding, as is tradition, honest discussions about the relationship between success and quality and self-respect. They will learn to cater to the structures within which they are working and come up with some new forms.
So, publishers, if you believe Hermman, get ready to retool your tools, metrics and lingo. Goodbye HTML, hello Facebook. Goodbye articles, hello cards. Goodbye clicks, hello shares and comments.
Fighting clutter and distraction, a Dutch website called De Correspondent now bans links inside articles.
Our publications don’t contain any traditional in-text links. This prevents a lot of the possible clutter and reasons to leave, usually found in many articles. When we want to tell a story, we’d like you to take it in from start to end. There is a flow we would like you to follow. We introduce you into a topic, investigate our findings and come to some kind of conclusion. If we gave our readers too many options to leave the article before finishing it, we wouldn’t get to convey whatever it is we want to convey.
The editors offer writers three tools in lieu of links within articles, an info card, a side note and a featured link.
The info card:
This piece of additional content is only presented when you have a need for it by clicking on the indicator behind the name or term mentioned in the story. Because, by default, it is in a closed state, you are able to easily skip over it when you do have the required background knowledge. Opening it however adds the additional information inline in the text so you don’t have to wander your eyes to another part of the page. Your eyes will never have to leave the main story and you can keep continue reading the story as if this addition was part of it in the first place.
The side note:
It functions as a regular link, but is placed next to the related paragraph and has a label that describes the content that was linked to. Next to this, every side note has an icon indicating the type of content you are about to see, like a video, audio fragment or report. The added benefit, of presenting our links in the bar next to the article, besides clearing the text of links, is that it functions as sort of a checklist. No need to remember the exact location of an interesting link for later consumption. Just quickly scroll past the article to get an overview of all the relevant additional information that might interest you.
And the featured link:
On our platform such important links, which we refer to as ‘featured links’, are placed underneath the article. Placing them down there ensures enough attention and focus on the reader’s side for the story covering it and as an added bonus, it consistently places important links in a manner everybody knows where to find them.
All are noble experiments. Personally I don’t find links to be distracting: when I’m enjoying an article and see a link, I right click and open it in a new tab to read later… or shove it over into Pocket to read much later. But De Correspondent has 30,000 paying subscribers, so they may be on to something.
Since the dawn of personal computers, students have conducted research projects by dumping copy/pasted quotes and facts into an electronic document, mostly using Word or Gdocs these days. At a some point, the enthusiastically accumulated research often becomes chaotic and overwhelming.
The days of dumping quotes into a Gdoc may be over. While many on Twitter use Pullquote to tweet out longer quotes, a happy sub-community of students and teachers has discovered that Pullquote’s “file” functionality makes research projects simpler and more productive.
We’re happy to hear that two classes of high school sophomores in Hillsborough, North Carolina, recently streamlined their research for a school project using Pullquote.
“It ended up being a lot faster for them than ‘taking notes,’” said Kay Cee Butcher, who taught the Honors English classes. “They were pulling quotes that they thought would be helpful to include in their paper (the direct quote) and also ideas that they wanted to paraphrase/information they needed to include.”
“Pullquote was easy to use, exactly what I had been looking for to help students organize their thoughts and findings for their research papers,” Butcher said. Pullquote simplified the storage, annotation, categorization, and retrieval of online text.
After highlighting a sentence or paragraph, student could comment on and file their text nuggets in one or more categories. Accessed through a browser, each category’s quotations could later be retrieved on a laptop, tablet or even mobile phone. Butcher monitored students’ progress by watching the stream of quotes and comments they were compiled.
The students were researching papers about injustice beyond US borders. Surveyed after the project ended, Butcher’s 31 students said Pullquote had a significant impact on their work:
77% said Pullquote improved their research
68% said Pullquote improved their organization
22% said Pullquote improved their concentration
19% said Pullquote improved their reading
If you’re a teacher using Pullquote to boost student study or reading skills, we’d love to hear from you!
Lifehacker gives Pullquote a nice write-up: “Once you’ve installed the app and set it all up, just browse as you would usually. When you find a quote you like, highlight it and you’ll see a menu with some options pop up. Simply select Tweet, make whatever modifications you like, and post. You can even save your favorite quotes with tags for easy access later. Pullquote also makes it easy to tweet an image.”
MakeUseOf: “if you see a quote which hits you over the head, and you think ‘I MUST show this to my Twitter followers!’, then simply use your mouse and highlight the words you want to quote. This will open up a black horizontal menu where you can choose ‘tweet’.”
Today we released a new version of Pullquote (0.6.3), making it easy for you to grab and tweet a section of a photo or graphic.
Here’s an example of the result:
— henry copeland (@hc) January 31, 2014
The functionality is available to people with the newest Pullquote Chrome extension or bookmarklet. To turn on the function, click the pullquote icon in your navigation bar and select “Picture Sharing.” Once this is done, you’ll see a Pullquote icon appear in the bottom right corner of any image you mouse over.
Clicking the icon highlights that image.
By clicking, dragging and releasing you can then select a section of the image.
Click Tweet, add some text and you’re done.
The resulting tweet will contain the image you’ve created, together with a link to the source site. (Make the image a minimum of 475 pixels wide x 180 pixels tall to be sure it shows up automatically in your followers’ Twitter feeds.)
Again, this is a beta feature. If you do experience any issues, or want to give us some feedback, please send us a message at email@example.com
Every new tool starts in the middle of an open field. Anything is possible.
With each step away from launch, a left or right turn is possible. With each new user, tempting new vistas and potential directions open up.
If all goes well, as time passes functionality deepens to fulfill the specific needs of a particular group of users. The number of potential realizable trajectories narrows.
Eventually, a tool’s muddy, twisting path becomes a paved, unwavering road. This road is efficient and high-volume for users, but, for its original creators, nearly impossible to shift.
For a new tool, though, there’s no pavement, no traffic insisting on proceeding as it did last month or last year. The options are dizzily unlimited.
So it’s been with Pullquote over the last year. Back in January, Pullquote started as tool designed to permit link to a specific sentence or paragraph on a web page. After each link, we added a shadowbox containing the respective quote to highlight the text for clickers who didn’t have the Pullquote extension installed. (This shadowbox also allowed us to hint to its viewer that she or he might want to get the Pullquote extension and create her/his own Pullquotes.)
That was our original idea. Then we found that some users particularly liked the shadowbox, seeing it as a kind of infographic.
And then we had a bunch of users decide that Pullquote should be used chiefly to swiftly populate a tweet with a headline and a link. Swipe, click, tweet. This group, lets call them Swift Tweeters, didn’t care about the shadowbox.
The use cases of these two groups conflicted, because the latter group’s usage created a shadowbox with text that was often redundant with the text in the Tweet that pointed to it. This, in turn, greatly annoyed some of the people clicking on those tweeted links.
In July, we added some filters to reduce this redundancy. But this measure reduced the number of shadowboxes by 70%. Which meant that Pullquote user acquisition flatlined, as you can see from the following graph.
Which leads us to our latest measure: simplifying Pullquote to facilitate the creation images containing quotes that then appear inline on Twitter. This idea came to us a couple of weeks ago when Twitter started including inline images in its feeds. Here’s an example of how Pullquotes now look in Twitter feeds:
— henry copeland (@hc) November 15, 2013
That’s a big win for Twitter usability. Some Pullquote users seem very excited. Retweets of tweets with these new Pullquotes seem to have jumped. Unfortunately for Pullquote, though, users who like Pullquote for swift-tweeting have stopped using the tool. And the shadowboxes that have helped potential users find Pullquote.com will been seen even less, since you no longer need to click on a pllqt.it link to read the full text of a specific Pullquote. (Because its there in the inline image.)
But we’re taking this step because we see indications that new people (outnumbering the swift-tweeters) are excited enough by the new inline Pullquote functionality to just shout about Pullquote and get friends on board.
There was a lot of recent buzz (at least here, here and here) when the NYTimes experimented by prompting readers to tweet links to specific sentences in an article about Lorne Michael’s interview process for Saturday Night Live.
If you skim down the NYT’s article, you’ll see some lines that are highlighted, an invitation to share with the world, each generating a pre-baked tweet. Here’s the editor’s selection from the first half of the article:
“I was a funny guy. I was taller than everybody, and very handsome.” – Chevy Chase
“They were guys who might make you laugh, but they could beat you up if they wanted to.” – @DanaCarvey on SNL
“I was married, I had three sons, and I was on welfare. I didn’t want that no more.” – @RealTracyMorgan
“You’ll never, ever get hired if you do that for your audition.” – Molly Shannon on “Mary Katherine Gallagher”
“Everybody else’s stuff sounds better than yours.” – @SethMeyers on auditioning for SNL
“The makeup person said oh my God what happened to you? I looked like I was in a car accident.” – Cheri Oteri
“I always played older women with short hair.” Kristen Wiig on impersonating Jane Pauley at her SNL audition
“I did Sally Field and Temple Grandin. It’s too bad she’s not in the news more.” Kate McKinnon on her SNL audition
No doubt those are some fun lines. (Or no doubt some of those are fun lines?) But there’s also no doubt that those are only some of the best lines in the story. Lots of fun and valuable ideas got totally ignored by the NYT editor’s highlighter, in many cases because each was slightly too long to cram into a tweet.
Twitter and the NYT report that the tweet ratio was up 11X, which is great news for the NYT and its amply edited peers. Personally, I’d like to make my own choices about what to link to. The following are some tweets I’d have written pointing to lines the NYTimes editor ignored:
Advice on SNL auditions: 'Don't kill too hard. It throws up a red flag. You don’t want to be a polished road act.' http://t.co/YrDF1EWnwa
— henry copeland (@hc) August 28, 2013
Click on the link and you’ll see the full quote I’m excited about. And if you’ve got the Pullquote app or add-on installed, you’ll see the quote in its exact context on the page.
Hader: That guy brought lots of props. I didn’t bring any. Samberg: That guy didn’t have to bring any props. http://t.co/QDddLEPuWr
— henry copeland (@hc) August 28, 2013
Or this one:
Jimmy Fallon: 'I’m like, what is Lorne Michael's problem? He’s doing a comedy show. Why does he not like to laugh? http://t.co/lp60PPK5Rv
— henry copeland (@hc) August 28, 2013
So, kudos to the Times for pre-baking tweets for its readers. I passionately hope that readers take the read/write revolution one step further and control their own choices about what content to highlight and Tweet by installing a tool like Pullquote.
Why let the editors have all the fun?
The summer has been quieter than we hoped. Pullquote’s total user count has plateaued at ~600, after growing at roughly 20% a week throughout the spring.
We’ve been puzzled by the plateau, but have a hypothesis: some people tweeting Pullquotes have gotten complaints from followers who clicked on a tweet saying “Smart dogs bark” (for example) and then saw the same “Smart dogs talk” text again in the Pullquote shadowbox, which they then had to close before proceeding to the source page.
We just hadn’t anticipated that people would Pullquote fragments of text or even headlines this creating this UI redundancy. But it seems that’s what many people want to do.
So we’ve the updated code so that a tweet that links to redundant (or very similar text) won’t create an intermediate shadowbox containing that same text. For longer quotes, the shadowbox will still appear, since this is the best way to highlight the essential idea buried inside an article.
In short, no more redundancy. You’ll see a shadowbox for if you click on the link in this tweet…
— henry copeland (@hc) August 23, 2013
but not this tweet:
Is social point-of-sale a trend? http://t.co/1RWQkBtswk Logbar crowdsources their drink menu, and streams who ordered and 'liked' what
— Stowe Boyd (@stoweboyd) August 14, 2013
(We’re still polishing the algorithm, so if you see places we fail to prevent shadowbox redundancies, please help us out by sending the offending example.)
Beyond this UX tweak, we’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning up code and integrating an ID system that will let people who don’t have Twitter IDs use Pullquote.
What’s ahead? We continue to be excited by the specificity of Pullquote in a web of generic links. People don’t think in web pages, why should they link to web pages? As a by-product of Pullquoting, some people are building up an interesting collection of quotes. (Here’s my collection.)
This approach also means that people can choose to follow a subset of all the quotes I’m saving. Micro-following? With Twitter and Tumblr with irrelevant information, maybe some people will find this granularity to be a relief. So we’re going to focus on enhancing that “quote collecting” and “micro-following” experience in coming weeks to see where this leads us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about whether Pullquote is a tool for the super-quick sharing of specific text on Twitter (and maybe soon on other social platforms) or a tool for filleting long pieces of text into discrete ideas and facts which can then be filed away for future reference and/or easily discovered by others who are interested in the same specific topic.
Watching #Sharknado erupt last night on Twitter convinced me that we desperately need the latter tool. We’ve always known that Twitter is a firehose. Now we’ve reached the point that each Twitter user is a firehose.
While I drown in this ocean of #Sharknado, I wonder what it would be like to just see the individual pieces of each friend’s output that actually pertain to topics I care about?
Though focused browsing of friends’s feeds would mean I’d miss some serendipitous collisions with random ideas, I’d save hours and countless brain cells by not trying to imbibe barrels of drivel. (Hours that could be channeled to more efficiently serendipitous behavior like drinking coffee or beer with friends.)
So I think that topic-focused sharing is what Pullquote will focus on. I’m not sure the exact word that describes this — are we creating a social library? A social topics index? Or is this what Stowe Boyd likes to call “co-curation?” Or maybe just topic-focused sharing?
Why am I thinking this? Oh, right, #Sharknado. Early this AM I built a Storify to try to make sense (or at least some buckets) out of the #Sharknado experience. (BTW, if you don’t already know what #Sharknado was, I’m not going to explain. Here’s what #Sharknado will be: in a few weeks, the underlying event will be forgotten and #Sharknado will become the word we all use to refer to a vaporous swirl of meaningless, mass-produced meme-riffing that itself becomes so vast it collapses in on itself into a diamond-hard object of actual meaning, the perfect linguistic symbol for a socially manufactured 5k-tweet-a-minute perfect-storm of meaninglessness.)
Pullquote 0.5.6, which improve functionality for the Chrome extension and Pullquote.com, includes some small but vital tweaks to make Pullquote more intuitive. (Similar changes are the Firefox queue, awaiting Mozilla approval.)
To address readers’ concerns about redundancy, a shadow box will no longer appear if the referring tweet already includes the target text. Click on the link in this tweet to see this happen. (Actually, “not happen,” since you’ll go through to the destination page as with a normal click on any other link.)
A longer quote or a quote containing text that hasn’t been tweeted will still be shadowboxed, allowing pullquoters to continue to call out key text for celebration or derision. To give readers more context and to expose related chunks of text already quoted by the Pullquoter, topic names have been added added at the bottom of the shadowbox. A topic relating to more than one quote will be clickable. Here’s an example.
We’ve also removed comments from shadowboxes because people have not been interacting at that level. (Seems obvious, since only 1 in 1000 people leave comments anywhere online, and most links get just 5-50 clicks.) However, comments remain on the individual quote page (like this), since this is most likely to be where people interested in a particular topic will congregate and try to engage with each other.
Finally, the URL structure for member’s streams is simpler. For example, Stowe Boyd’s quote feed is now located at pullquote.com/stoweboyd.
Don’t miss this awesome article in the HBR by mobile strategist Karen McGrane. (Found via a @stoweboyd tweet.) McGrane argues that the “page,” as a physical and conceptual vehicle for ideas, is a fossilized appendage without much meaningful function beyond print media. In short, having inhibited how media companies understood the desktop web, the page is destined to be skeuomorphic road kill on the smart phone and tablet. Looking at mobile devices, McGrane writes:
You don’t have to spend too much time thinking about all these new form factors and device types to realize that the very notion of a page doesn’t hold up. Content will “live” on many different screens and presentations. The amount and type of content that’s appropriate for a PC screen isn’t the same as what would work best on a smartphone or a smart TV. The way content gets laid out, styled, and presented must be different for different platforms.
The future of connected devices is content in “chunks,” not pages. Smaller, discrete content objects can be dynamically targeted to specific platforms and assembled into new containers on the fly. Which content and how much content appears on a given screen or interface will be defined by a set of rules, informed by metadata. Content will break free of the page and “live” in lots of different places.
We’re increasingly realizing that Pullquote, beyond being an efficient way to link directly to ideas rather than webpages, is a super-efficient format for consuming ideas on mobile. When you’re next on a smart phone or tablet, check out my personal feed of pullquotes to see how swiftly it filters and displays mobile-friendly thought-nuggets.
For another angle on McGrane’s chunk-centricity, this time from the perspective of the information consumer rather than the publisher, read my post Micro bookmarking: linking to ideas, not web pages written some months back.
Stowe Boyd, researcher-at-large for GigaOM, has been an active Pullquoter in recent weeks. Yesterday, Stowe published a long look at Pullquote and other genre-busting publishing tools. He reached this conclusion:
Companies alike Tumblr, Medium and Pullquote are redefining the ideas about commenting that we have almost taken for granted since the start of the century. Once again, the web is breaking what seemed solid and foundational, taking the concept of comments and going sideways with it.
My bet is that this set of innovations will mean that the canonical series of comments at the bottom of a post will seem totally out of date in a few years, just like grunge fonts, left margin navigation, and embedded flash shouts ‘old school’ today.
Stowe focused on Pullquote’s new quote-commenting feature, introduced last week, and was the first to notice the member stream of Pullquote texts and comments. (Here’s Stowe’s stream, for example.)
Stowe and I’ve known each other since long before “social media” was a common phrase. In his generous GigaOM post and a second post on his own blog, Stowe made a number of good suggestions for improving Pullquote. In short:
* Pullquote should tally and highlight comments for a Pullquote’s creator. [Coming in a day or two.]
* Pullquote should alert readers to when there are comments on a page’s content, creating a kind of “virtual graffiti.” [Definitely! We’re waiting for a critical mass of users to make such encounters likely.]
* Pullquote should show the inciting tweet on an individual Pullquote’s page. [Great point, will do.]
* “The only way to see the comments (if any) are by following the Pullquote URL.” In fact, people can burrow and find comments via clicking on quotes in the “member” page (again, here is Stowe’s) but clearly we need to improve the UX to make these more easily accessible.
* “And it appears that only those with the plugin can see or add to the comments. Bummer.” [In theory, anyone with Twitter can leave a comment — we’ll figure out what gave this appearance.]
Like Stowe, we sense that Pullquote and peers represent the tip of a giant iceberg of new web behavior that’s just waiting to surface. Some of our previous thoughts on that potential future are here.
The fastFT employs 8 journalists to each pump out 100-250 items an hour. Fre.sh aggregates headlines of highly trafficed articles from sites that use Buzzfeed’s traffic tracking service.
One of the joys of a tool like Pullquote is that it lets you link to a paragraph on a web page that says it is not possible to link to a paragraph on a web page.
To help people who don’t (yet) use Chrome or Firefox, we’ve now created a bookmarklet that works in other browsers. Shout if you want to help beta test the bookmarklet.
Chelsey Delaney reviewed Pullquotes today in Examiner.com, calling the tool “lovely.” Chelsey summed up her need:
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve copied a paragraph from something (anything, everything) just so I can paste it into an email, text message, chat window, blog post–you name it. All the while, I’m doing the shuffle between the browser, the application(s), the devices. No wonder kids don’t read anymore.
We’re happy to help!
New version of the extension released today lets you toggle PQ on and off. Here’s what you need to do to unleash the toggling joy:
- delete your current extension and install the new one at qote.me/beta
- copy/paste something in a new window and you’ll see the same tool bar appear
- in that toolbar, click on the gear
- a “settings” page will open (we’re going to work on adding an explanation on this page, but for now hope the images tell the story well enough.)
- here you can specify that PQ functions are only be invoked after you’ve highlighted text and then clicked the extension button
Hope you like it!
One of the fun things about creating a new tool is discovering that people find lots of unexpected ways to use it.
We thought Pullquote would be most used by people looking to quickly tweet out a link to a particular data-filled paragraph or particularly salient (or egregious) sentence.
That’s happening, but some users report they’re even more excited about other twists:
- a minister writes that Pullquote “works well for my theology discussion group because it allows me to share a quote that is like a teaser and then gets them to click on the link for the rest of the article.”
- an editor said that he used Pullquote to flag a tiny error in a published article to another editor.
- one user LOVES the infographic-like quotebox that we create between the link and the ultimate source page. (In fact, he thought that was the entire game for a while.)
- one user reports that the specificity of Pullquote links helps settle (or at least advance) arguments in a political forum.
Three cool things happened yesterday in the life of Pullquotes.
First, Lucy Marcus, who I met in the late 90s in London and reconnected with via Twitter, suggested we create a toggle in that lets people turn Pullquotes on/off in the extension bar. We mocked that up, and have it in the programming queue.
Second, Jay Rosensuggested we change the tool’s name to Pullquote. I swear we’d checked a month ago and that domain wasn’t available, but yesterday we were able to buy it for $1200. We’d much rather be a verb than Continue reading
Wikipedia defines a traditional pull quote as “a quotation or excerpt from an article that is typically placed in a larger or distinctive typeface on the same page, serving to entice readers into an article or to highlight a key topic.”
In this sense, the term is commonly used by journalists, editors and publication designers. By surfacing the pithiest sentence, a telling detail, an essential data nugget, the smartest line of an interview, a pull quote entices readers to wade into an article or blog post.
Of course our tool Pullquotes takes a slightly different tact, allowing readers to easily Continue reading
What’s a small new web tool without a portentous manifesto? We don’t have a big manifesto, but we do have some biggish questions.
Summary: It’s been two decades since people started weaving myriad links among web pages. Isn’t it strange that sentences and paragraphs, the foundational units of complex thought, still remain unlinkable, effectively online orphans?
What would change if anyone could link directly to an idea embodied in a specific sentence or paragraph on any webpage? While idea-linking seems minor, a mere technical twitch, history has shown that the small, seemingly happenstance attributes of various techniques and technologies we use to manage words — columns on library buildings, smaller books, swiftly printed newspapers, and a boundless Internet — can play a big role in shaping our thoughts.
Sick of copy/pasting text, then going back to grab the URL? Tired of linking to articles, then hoping people read far enough to find the sentences that matter? Have you ever just wanted to link directly to a sentence on a web page? We’ve now enabled ANYONE to link directly to ANYTHING via a Chrome extension.
We’re slowly distributing invites to the tool — please shout if you want one.