Ten benefits to using Springpad’s social notebooks
It’s finally here, Springpad 3.0. We’ve completely redesigned the platform. While Springpad has always been an incredibly useful app for the 3 million people who count on its utility to save, organize and easily access everything from recipes to wish lists, it’s now a social experience that lets users share content, discover interests and even collaborate on notebooks.
We’re pretty excited. You can still use Springpad to quickly and easily “spring” content in any form — recipes, books, movies, products, links, notes, tasks — but now you can “publish” your content, search by category, create communities around hashtags and isolate your friends based on their specific areas of expertise. Springpad just got a whole lot more useful.
No doubt our community of users will surprise and inspire us with uses beyond what we’ve imagined — organizing book clubs, collaborating on design projects, plannning family vacations, sharing best of lists, creating cookbooks, co-curating resources — but I thought I’d share 10 things that we can all get out of the new Springpad starting today.
Free yourself from the stream
One of my favorite things about Springpad is its persistence. If you spring something, it doesn’t disappear in the stream like it does on Twitter. It’s always there. In a notebook that is easy to find, search, access. Same goes for a friend’s content. Let’s say someone you follow on Twitter posts a link to a new restaurant in San Francisco. Within a matter of seconds it’s gone. You may have seen it, but a month from now when you’re in the Bay Area and wish you could remember it you’re out of luck. But if she had “sprung” it to a notebook, there it is. In her “San Francisco Foodie Spots” notebook. Instantly findable and usable. Give a +1 to the concept of persistence.
Express your interests
Sure Pinterest lets you post the stuff you care about, find inspiring or hope to own/do someday. But Springpad lets you do the same with more than images. You can spring notes, events, products, links, white papers, Slideshare decks. It offers a very clean and flexible way to organize and present your interests. It’s not only a great way for you to segment your life, but to let other people see you in a new, clearer light.
Make better decisions
One of the coolest things about Springpad is that it enhances everything you save with useful data. Spring a product and the app brings you all the prices on the web. Save a movie and it tells you where and when it’s playing, whether in the theater or on Netflix. Clip a restaurant and you get menus and maps. All of which helps you buy at the best price, get to the show on time, or decide what you want to eat for dinner. The whole idea is to turn interests into action.
Collaborate on anything
Obviously you can make notebooks private or public. But you can also co-curate notebooks with friends or colleagues whose taste and judgment you respect. I’ve got collaborators on my Stay Fit, Ride More notebook as well as on my Industry Trends notebook. In fact the latter has four contributors. Imagine how useful that feature would be for a bride-to-be and her Mom planning a wedding. Or parents and their teenage son organizing college applications and visits. Or an interior designer and her clients working on a renovation. Since you can clip, save, and comment on anything — products, images, links — notebooks become dynamic and interactive.
Discover more of what you love
Once we get more people on Springpad we’ll have an incredibly efficient social search engine. But even while the numbers are a long way from Facebook or Google, what makes Springpad search useful now is the ability to scour categories that matter to you and then filter the results by people whose judgment you trust. Just take a look at the Spotlight section under Explore, or the popular notebooks below it. I guarantee you’ll find something of interest.
Share your expertise
Are you a teacher? Blogger? Digital strategist? Gardener? Designer? Why limit your content creation to a lecture, a blog or links on Twitter. You can populate Springpad notebooks with both your own stuff as well as material from other sources, getting credit both as a content creator and a curator. Add the persistence mentioned above and the fact that it can drive traffic your way and it’s a perfect complement to the other initiatives.
Make a plan
I’m using Springpad right now to plan a vacation to LA and San Francisco. In this case my private notebook has everything from hotels and restaurant reservations to confirmation emails, maps, flight information, contacts and a calendar. I add stuff as it comes in via email or as I find it online, and not only do I have it all in one place, I can take it with me on a lap top a tablet or smartphone. Trying to find may way to Universal Studios? My notebook not only has my tickets, it includes maps and directions.
Follow notebooks, not people
This was a big part of my presentation at SxSW. I have a lot of friends on Facebook and Twitter for that matter who post stuff I have no interest in whatsoever. I don’t care about Alison’sFunniest Animals on the Internet, but I am interested in her Books for Work notebook. So I simply follow the former and not the latter. The content rather than the whole person. This is the interest graph at its best.
Find people you trust
Consequently Springpad will ultimately connect you to people whose opinions you trust. Foodies, oenophiles, book critics, cyclists, beer critics, chefs. As you find people based on the quality of their content and the relevance of what they share, you end up with better go-to sources and more reliable recommendations.
There are lots of ways to put your personal brand on the web. But what’s cool about Springpad is that it lets you present yourself, your content, your interests all in one place with more dimension. Wouldn’t you like to get a job candidate to send you a notebook that contains their content, portfolio, blog, favorite books, news coverage, recommendations, etc all in one place that you can access in whatever order you want?
For me, the new Springpad is a better way to filter the web, organize your own interests, discover great stuff from reliable sources, and more easily turn interests into action.
Hope you’ll join me and our growing community on Springpad. Create some great notebooks. And discover even better ones. Let me know what you think.
(Note: As mentioned before, I now work half time at Mullen as chief innovation officer, but part of the agency’s approach to innovation is to learn from the startup community, hence I am also at Springpad as chief marketing officer, brand evangelist and, of course, notebook maker.)
Springpad CEO Jeff Chow on the thinking behind the new Springpad.
Introducing the New Springpad (video)
Liz Gumbinner’s notebooks
My Steve Jobs notebook
Venture Beat coverage