Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: Pinterest for text (quotered.com)
115 points by levng on Apr 16, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 82 comments

This looks excellent and well executed.

It's disappointing that the only login option is via Facebook, but it's cool that one can also try the service without login in at all.

Although after one adds the bookmarklet to one's bookmark bar and comes back to the site, we are caught in an endless loop of step-1-2-3 where we are indefinitely asked to add the bookmarklet again...?

Looking into this right now - in Step 3, did you highlight the quote and click the "Quote It" button? Thanks for letting us know about this.

> in Step 3, did you highlight the quote and click the "Quote It" button?

Ah! No, I didn't. I since created a quote and that broke the loop; now when I reach the website I access the list of my quotes.

Sorry for the false alarm (although step 3 is maybe a little obscure?)

We were tweaking the UX for that part just before posting to HN. Thanks for the input - we'll definitely look into changing this to make it more intuitive.

Out of curiosity, what is everyone's preferred login mechanism?

Facebook? Twitter? Google?

In the decreasing order of priority

  * twitter
  * github
  * google
  * ... many many galaxies later.
  * facebook.

It depends on the target; i'm thinking about my friends (most non-techie), from most spread account to least spread:


..some planets later..


..some solar systems later..


..many galaxies later..


Local site account or Persona for me.

- Mozilla persona

- OpenId

- Site specific account

In that order.


agreed, that 'just try now' flow was really enticing.

I'd just like to mention that https://gimmebar.com allows you to save text snippets in a similar manner, in addition to pretty much any other media type, and doesn't require you to use Facebook for login.

Disclaimer: We (Fictive Kin) built Gimme Bar, so there's quite a bit of bias in my previous statement.

Hey! Just signed up for an GimmeBar account.

There's a few things you can learn from QuoteRed that makes me want to use them to save text snippets:

1. Their UI is very simple. Upon landing on their site I saw examples right away of how people are using it and started thinking about how I would use this. I got it immediately.

2. Sign up was very easy. One click, done. No need to register for email/pw combo. This can be a negative for some but for me it's a plus.

3. Their getting started flow is brilliant. With clearly defined steps and arrows pointing out exactly what I should do, setting up was very easy. Open up bookmarks bar, dragging and dropping the bookmarklet, etc. I didn't have to worry, I was in good hands.

4. This third point is probably most important. They started me off with an example. Getting to use the product was part of the getting started flow, and when I closed the site I already have a quote in my account. There are no more barriers to entry, I already know how to use their product.

Building a great product is one thing, but that product is not useful there is a huge learning curve. Spend some time crafting your getting started flow, it is very, very important.

Many thanks for the comments. Seriously :).

Our onboarding for Gimme Bar has gone through a few revisions, and we're never really satisfied with it. We basically hinge everything on the video, hoping that people will grok it from there, which is of course not optimal.

We've done a bit of work doing some more in-depth onboarding flows for some of our other applications (e.g. https://donenotdone.com and https://teuxdeux.com/), and we might revisit how it's done for Gimme Bar at some point soon as well.

Point taken on the Facebook login - will look to provide other means of logging in! Very cool video on gimmebar.com.

Have you considered Mozilla Persona? https://voo.st is pretty successfully using Facebook and Persona together for auth, at least the last I heard from them.

You should be able to get it integrated in an hour or so, and I'd be happy to double-check your code (or submit a pull request myself) if you'd like.

I'll definitely check it out - thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks! I really like what you've done with QuoteRed; it's refreshingly simple and straightforward. I save a ton of quotes/articles all the time, and you've got an interface that lends itself very nicely to this problem.

I played around with this idea a couple of years ago, called it Quote Feed. I applied to Amazon -- thought it would be a great kindle app. Amazon seemed to have other ideas, though.

Good luck! For what it's worth, I think it's a really cool idea.

Thanks Daniel - so it didn't work out with Amazon? The Kindle annotation system is also part of the inspiration behind QuoteRed actually. I find it pretty useful myself.

I believe they saw it as a conflict. It could have just been my application, though. Might work if another team took a run at it.

is there a way to access from my laptop those kindle snippets to put them on the site?

Not at the moment, but it's something we're keen to include. Importing from a text file seems a bit tedious, and asking people to log in with their Amazon credentials is a definite no-no. Any ideas on how best to do it?

I can see a lot of utility in this tool. I don't care about quotes for quotes sake, but I could totally see this being useful as a tool for saving snippets.

No idea how that's a business, but you can figure that part out.

We actually started this project at a Hackathon at Facebook HQ. We came up with the name via a quick domain search. I agree with you that quotes aren't necessarily the best term to use - maybe text snippets would be more accurate? We want to be a collection of all the interesting things people read on the Internet.

Try Tumblr for this, it works well.

I love the idea behind being able to collect the snippets and quotes you come across, but not having an alternative for a Facebook sign in pretty much makes this useless for me.

Agreed. I think this would be very useful in a business context as well, but business users need an alternative form of login. In the end I ended up to our B2B web app directory anyway though: https://starthq.com/apps/quotered

Sorry to hear that - we'll work to introduce an alternative to Facebook login in the near future

I build something very similar in 2007: http://quotevault.appspot.com/

It has a bookmarklet to store quotes, and you can share selected quotes on a public 'quote feed': http://quotevault.appspot.com/public/terhechte

It never really took of, so I stopped working on it. Kinda stupid because I spend quite some time working on it. Good luck with your endeavour.

That's pretty cool. I notice you have both a public and private option for users. We're sticking to making everything public for now for network effects, but will be keen to add a private option later on, demand pending.

It actually started as a private-only thing, and I only added the social sharing & feed features later. My own use case was collecting quotes, and that's what I build it for. I then realized that I might need some social glue to attract users.

Private would be huge for me. I wouldn't think of using it without it.

Well, use it as part of your portfolio, opensource the project on github and share your experience :)

Thanks, not a bad idea. I'll look into it.

I love the look and feel of this. I wish I had such a good eye for design.

I know there are some other options posted, so I figure I'd throw my own side-hobby out there http://mxplx.com/ is an open-source project I wrote to keep track of my favorite quotes (memes), link them to references, triple them to other memes, and gather them in lists (schemas). I never got around to adding a clipping-tool to it, but I did interface with Google Books to make gathering book references easier.

It's unnecessarily erudite, ugly, and I turned off new signups so you'd need to download the source from github or google code if you want to play with it (I do include a copy of the database complete with my personal collection of quotes and references on Git), but I'm posting it here because someone might find something of interest in it.

Thanks - I really like the categories your site has for each thing that you post. I think it'll be pretty valuable to know whether you're quoting from a tweet, a book, or a newspaper article, and not only depend on the source domain.

Since you're sort of competing against the vibrancy of photos, why not consider allowing typography choices?

I like that! Any typefaces you would propose in particular? Not sure if you noticed, but we've used two typefaces on the current version of the site: Adobe Caslon Pro and Proxima Nova.

Design/typography isn't my thing. I couldn't tell you much about them, but I would imagine you'd like to have some sort of interesting collage of quotes where the typefaces complimented each other. That's probably the most important aspect, typefaces that wouldn't clash.

I'll have to defer you to someone else who knows more about these things, but you should definitely ask around!

We did think of having a tiles view and overlaying the quotes over images. Knowing which images to combine quotes with may be an issue!

use the google open fonts.

I would suggest using a sans-serif font for the quotables while also tightening the width a little bit so you can increase impact and readability. Also, you might also want to put a light border around the quotes...perhaps with a drop shadow (much like embedded Tweets).

Thanks for your suggestions. We've tried to keep a distinct 2D feel to the website so we are avoiding drop shadows as much as possible. But I agree with you that the quotes themselves need more clearly separated from each other.

For the width of the quotes, we've tried to adhere to the 45 to 75 characters per line as recommended by by Robert Bringhurst in his "The Elements of Typographic Style", although our line lengths are towards the upper limit of that range.

I believe https://clipboard.com/ has been doing this for a while, too. It'll be interesting to see if there's a market for these services along with Evernote and similar.

http://www.bash.org/ since 1999 :)

It's a neat app, but for me, I probably prefer copy paste as a note, then going through the hassle of signing up. What benefit am I missing?

Culturally, I think that sites like pinterest tend to get people to develop a hoarding habit. You hoard all your photos, or to-do projects, or in this case quotes with little thought to their use. How do you eventually revisit these quotes or do you ever? Maybe it's helpful to offload the brain's responsibility of remembering 'memorable' quotes (irony), but you're never going to impress anyone by reciting a beautiful poem off from your phone.

Amazing how many other similar services are out there. I built http://amazd.com last year which is almost an exact replica of this service and offers much more. It uses browser extensions for a more seamless integration (FF, Chrome, safari and IE). It also lets you import books highlights. Plus you can sign up without facebook. Check out my profile for a taste: http://amazd.com/ahmad

This is pretty cool. I'd like to be able to log in with something other than Facebook, but I like the idea of being able to save text snippets.

Sure thing - we're looking to integrate Twitter log in (we think that the QuoteRed userbase would somewhat overlap with Twitter's), and of course a plain login with a vanilla email/password combo. To come!

Nice implementation.

I don't like Facebook only logins, always good to offer the email & password reg option.

It would be nice if more than one quote was saved from an article, that it would become a bulleted list - with the page title pulled in as well for the list.

Maybe publishers/bloggers may be interesting in curating three or four good quotes from their articles into a short summary, then promote thorough QuoteRed.

Regards Melt

Thanks for the ideas - we're going to implement some Machine-Learning Algorithms to help in clustering similar quotes together. But grouping by article like you said would also prove really useful. The point on bloggers/publishers is also good - we're looking to have Promoted Quotes which are quotes from new book from publishers. Thanks for your input!

I used to use spurl for this, then they died. I then switched to diigo, which I quite like mostly for the simple chrome extension; high light text, click the extension icon, add tags if I want, save.

If someone could cut this "work flow" down to a single click I'd be happy. I don't really need to tag things....

Have you tried http://amazd.com ? I design the extension to cut down the functionality to the bare minimum as I had the same kinds of concerns with other services/products.

A single click - point taken. Do you find yourself referring much to what you save? Do you search through them much or have the need to categorise them? Just trying to work out the different customer needs! Thanks!

My "workfow" for this is such:

While surfing around the internet I find interesting things. I high light a section of text and add it to my diigo list. I then have system which sucks in the rss feed of my diigo list and combines it with a bunch of other rss feeds (youtube and vimeo favourites, my wordpress blog, etc) to populate a website: http://fuzzyslogic.com

I only occasionally search back through my diigo list. I use tags to allow me to filter content on the fl.com site.

Can you add an easier way to browse the quotes people have already posted? Also, if you spend a few days adding more quotes to the database, the site would be a lot more fun to hang out on. Consider that there may be viewers who want to observe passively before adding anything themselves.

I've always described Pinterest as "Twitter for images instead of text."

If this is a common description it might help to come up with a better proxy. If not, go for it. I have no clue personally how to evaluate consumer products like this. Seems just as likely as any to work (Low probability high reward).

Twitter's primary use is to broadcast information to other people, or to read snippets from people you find interesting (particularly celebrities). Pinterest's primary use is to collect images for your own personal benefit. I use Pinterest and have boards for recipes, pictures of places I'd like to visit, fashion choices I'm interested in trying, etc. Most of my pins come straight from the web, and while it's nice if others repin/like/follow me, I don't really care. I have no interest in Twitter, but I might use QuoteRed.

This seems like a way to separate the aphorisms and other significant musings from the everyday conversations on Twitter. I definitely see the value in this.

Thanks - part of the reason for making QuoteRed is that I find it hard to share things on Facebook and Twitter without it taking over my feed. My idea for this was, by limiting what you post to unoriginal content, you would be freer to post what you really want.

Twitter doesn't allow very much text.

I like the idea. I'll be honest, half the emails in my inbox are from myself, either with links or quotes or ideas, whatever.

Now, does EverNote offer something like this, or do they do full webpages only?

Integration is definitely key. I really like how you have the option to Tweet a saved quote on your app.

Thanks! Evernote do let you save different text snippets and links but they are more geared toward "private". On QuoteRed, everything is public. We may add a private board or two later.

Neat! Admittedly, when I saw the title, "Pinterest for text," I thought of something more like http://www.quoti.ca/

I dig the way I can select some text on a website and automatically turn it into a quote. Slick. Nice product tour too.

I'm glad that it wasn't called a "weekend project". I think you can do a little to the right column design-wise to separate out the different components. The quote, attribution, and link to more seem to meld altogether.

You can just use pinboard.in for this, though pinboard.in is like pinterest for introverts (except it's just better).

Great tool. Any plans for a browser plugin that lets people see what others have highlighted on a given page?

Definitely in the works - part of our vision is to provide an annotation layer over the Internet. Awkward comparison, but something like the Kindle, "N people have also highlighted this passage". But for every webpage on the Internet.

something similar: http://www.quote.fm

Nice! But why does the font size have to be so big?

+1 changed #container font-size from 1.3em to 1em and it looks much nicer :)

I like the idea but I dislike the design of the quotes themselves. All the same type and all the same size, the only differentiation being color. Even the format seems "weak" in that there are no lines or anchors for my eye to follow and every "quote" appears slightly differently.

The design turned me off, and I think you can accomplish a much better looking and easily digestible product from text!

This is really interesting. Could you go into a little more detail about what you mean by each quote appearing slightly differently. We're trying to use the break provided by the author and the tags on the RHS to separate the quotes - but I guess this isn't really working?

The URLs are all variable size (do not truncate) and the "Browse more" content follows the variable length url. This means the Browse More section does not follow any pattern and just appears at the end of each link.

Because of this, every single quote appears different. For some reason, I think that standard content like read more should be standardized to help me find easy anchors while browsing quickly.

That way, when I look at a quote, the only deviating part of the design is the unique content itself, and I can be sure that if it's deviating, it's the content I'm looking for.

As it stands, it's difficult for me to parse the whole list as identical elements with differing content, and instead I'm seeing them all as different going down.

EDIT: I also do not like that you preserve tabbing from the users input. It's useful in theory but since your url content relies on a tab as well, it creates a very weird dynamic while looking down the page where a tab doesn't really mean anything, because it means something different everytime I see one.

EDIT2: I'm not a designer (but I fancy myself an amateur) and if I was in charge of the layout, I'd probably have done something like: http://i.imgur.com/o0s9UZl.png -- The subtext is noticably smaller, the url is shortened for consistency and length, and the two aspects of the subtext are floating left and right for solid, consistent anchors.

EDIT3: Coming back to it, I went a slightly different direction: http://i.imgur.com/jfFcB1N.png

I know you're not looking for design advice, I just had fun playing with someone else's work. Thanks :)

Just my opinion, however, take what I say as a user story and nothing more!

This is a great response. Just wanted to chime in and say I also much prefer the EDIT3 version to the current webpage. Look nice and separates the quotes very well. Seeing as how the main point of quotes tends to be to read them I would guess there might be less on the side of link following and making them small under there will also make the formatting look more consistent with different size urls.

Thanks for the suggestions and thanks even more for the illustrations too! I totally understand where you're coming from now. From your illustrations it's clear that having a few elements anchored to the bottom of the quote in fixed locations means that quotes are clearly separated. Good point.

As for the tabs, I believe we've stripped them from all the quotes. However, we do indent all paragraphs apart from the first in a similar fashion to books and long articles. Originally, we planned for people to quote much lengthier quotes (in which case it would improve readability), but I take your point that it makes it more unreadable in shorter quotes.

I also wasn't a big fan of how the quotes looked. I struggled to find the delete option, was not expecting it among the share options at all.

to be specific, I was looking for a little x at the top right of the quote box first, then a small 'delete' at the bottom right.

Very cool. I have a better domain for you: tacked.com

Shoot me an email if you want to use it, I'm sure we can work something out :)

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact