Social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon or Delicio.us are great for finding interesting, quirky content. But the hunt is on for something better. One example: The just-launched PearlTrees, which allows you to lump and organize your links into network graphs. The best bit is that when you create a node in your network (a “pearl”), you can see who else has bookmarked that same link–and see what they’ve tagged as related content. A short video explains:
You might have noticed that startups like these are reaching a fever pitch–In recent weeks we’ve seen this Twitter visualization tool and Nebul.us, which does much of the same work as PearlTrees, with a more robust (albeit complex) visualization system.
The logic seems hard to fight: Think about how easy it is to get lost in all the content flying around on Digg or Stumble Upon. People naturally want to organize that information–and you can use that instinct to create a semantic network. And that network should make it easier for anyone to find the stuff they’d love but simply don’t know enough about to search for. That’s sure to be one of data visualization’s killer apps–finding likeminded souls whose tastes might inspire your own.
The question is: Who can build their network the fastest? PearlTrees is a fascinating first step–but they’ve got a ways to go in creating an interface so fast that it’s a joy to use. And that’s what interfaces are all about (insert obligatory iPhone reference here).