Shelfster is the Facebook of note-taking.
The new online service (www.shelfster.com), currently in private beta, allows you to collect, share and organize information from the Web. This could be anything, from links, notes and images to videos and snippets from websites. It offers a nifty way to quickly annotate and organize all this information, and share it through a “profile” created through the site.
It’s a step more advanced than services such as Evernote, which are more utilitarian note-taking applications, whereas Shelfster takes a more social approach. In an email interview, Laurentiu Bancu, the CEO of Shelfster, told us about its inception and future. Edited excerpts:
Tell us a little bit about the origin of Shelfster? Is it based on projects the people involved with it have worked on in the past?
Honestly, the idea came from a personal problem. I’ve always had this challenge of dealing with favourite information: Links received from friends, quotes from books, pictures, all scattered in tens or hundreds of emails, messenger messages, documents on my computer at home or on the laptop at work. I never had them all in one place, nicely arranged, easily retrievable and accessible from any computer. A real mess! The challenge became even more apparent when I wanted to share these effortlessly with my friends and my communities.
Once I realized this, I began looking for a solution. After much brainstorming, sleepless nights and hard work, I came up with a solution to a problem so many of us are trying to deal with. After numerous brainstorming sessions, we’ve decided to call it Shelfster. Obviously, Shelfster comes from “shelf”, where you put things you need, like and want to display, hopefully in an organized manner.
With applications such as Shelfster and Evernote, there seems to be this new way of looking at information management online. What changes made that possible? And what are the predecessors to this “clip-and-note”-based approach?
Consider your day-to-day work flow. It’s quite simple: You interact with your computing devices, mostly connected to the Internet, every single day. You often find/receive information that is useful or something you just like. And what do you want to do with it? Store it, organize it, share it and access it anytime you need it. Probably, there are thousands of applications that solve one or two of these needs. But why should I use two or three apps, and keep track of them, instead of using just one simple and comprehensive application? And that’s exactly what we want to do.
Shelfster has been designed as a utility and platform to not only capture and organize information, but also get the most out of it, by sharing with your friends and communities, collaborating and discovering things based on your interests. With Shelfster we didn’t stop in the middle of the road, we’ve made an important step in trying to get the most out of the things we need and like.
The layer of social networking features you’ve added—how do you see that improving Shelfster’s core premise?
I think you can already find above the answer to this question—the core premises of Shelfster being: “Collect, Organize, Share, Discover & Learn”. The last three are inherent “social”. We see many platforms concentrating on the “Collecting” part and, likewise, many platforms focusing on the social media aspect. The problem is that they all have their respective function, and can work independently, but in a day-to-day knowledge user needs, they become really useful when they are fully integrated. And Shelfster tries to do just that.
Shelfster is currently in private beta. You can request an invitation at: http://shelfster.com/sign-up -