Springpad gets better as a curating platform
I’ve been playing around with the new updates and features on Springpad* and there’s no doubt they make the platform more useful and productive than ever. The onboarding process is clear and encouraging. The UX for the entire site is vastly improved – it’s easier and more intuitive to add content. And best of all you can now drag your “blocks” around to re-order the content of any notebook.
We have plenty of options when it comes to posting and sharing links and images. But if you need a way to collect, organize, share and regularly access information – whether you’re saving recipes, planning a journey, researching a book, or teaching college courses – I can’t think of anything that might serve you better than the updated version of Springpad.
Sure Pinterest works in a similar manner, but because Springpad lets you collect many more different kinds of data — from links to images, ads, videos, Slideshare decks, white papers, lectures and simple notes or calendar items – you can use it for more than a basic expression of your interests.
I just began organizing content for the classes I teach at BU. While I count on Lore for my syllabus, calendar, class submissions, grading and out of class conversation, it’s not the best format for viewing class content. (I’m actually hoping there’s a way for Lore and Springpad to get together.) Springpad lets me organize lectures, books, creative inspiration, and relevant content in a manner that’s visually appealing, easy to access, and available for re-copying into students’ own notebooks. It also becomes the perfect collaborative tool when I’m co-creating content with graduate assistants or other faculty members.
If you are a publisher or author, especially of non-fiction, seems Springpad is the perfect way to augment a book’s subject by topic, place, historical documents, photos, etc. Take Larry Tye’s Superman. Imagine a notebook to go with each chapter? Right now on the author’s website there’s a list of links to different resources and background material. How much more accessible and useful would that information be if it were organized on Springpad.
Hard to imagine that this industry couldn’t benefit significantly, from corporate all the way down to the local offices. Given the franchise model, the platform would work great for the distribution of corporate materials. At the local level, with the ability to instantly create a notebook that includes all a town has to offer, even a small, under-staffed office could more effectively market a community, endear itself to local businesses and make itself a more useful and innovative partner to both home-buyers and sellers.
In what is an increasingly competitive industry that wins and loses as much on service as on price, hotels, airlines, others could leverage Springpad in a multitude of ways. Concierges could organize recommended restaurants, venues and attractions in a digital format that guests could actually use. And if those guests re-sprung any of the content, the hotel or travel company would have instant feedback on what content was useful. Get a little smarter and high-end urban hotels could even use it as a service to which guest contribute, sharing ideas with other guests who likely have similar interests.
How many times have you attempted to access content after a conference only to find that videos, decks, presentations and blog posts are all stored or posted in different places? Or if there is a single site, it’s rarely very navigable. How great would it be if conference organizers simply presented everything in one place? It might actually get seen, used and spread in a more measurable way.
No doubt there are many more curatorial uses. If you have good ones, please share. And if you teach advertising, digital or emerging media or marketing strategy, stop by my professor’s page every now and then. There might be something useful.
*(Note: I was the interim CMO for Springpad in early 2012 and remain active on the board of directors.)