Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Monday, October 30, 2006
ClipClip revives Clipmarks Debate
My previous post was recently clipped to a new service called ClipClip. As Darren wrote last December in regard to Clipmarks, I'm curious to know when a clip is more than a bookmark, especially since ClipClip reproduces the post template n' all, includes existing Freshblog comments, and offers the opportunity for users to add comments that will sit on the complete reproduced post, not on the original.

So... Clipping. What's up with that? Here's some ideas for discussion pro & con:
  • What if all clips sat in a private user's account, & were not publicly visible?
  • What if the ClipClip default "whole page is bookmarked when no text is selected" was actually "nothing is bookmarked when no text is selected?
  • How about an intro phrase for the link at the top of the page. "This content clipped from...." or similar.
  • What about clip technology that doesn't reproduce the template? Is that more acceptable? Clipmarks appears (at least based on my quick refresher visit) to work that way.
  • Is there a Search-Engine penalty here, since this is 100% duplicate content at a different URL?
  • Where's the benefit of a "clip" over a web-based bookmark w/ limited notes, such as those at
  • What if there was a way (either on the source page or the clipping service) to limit the amount of a post that could be clipped, so that it was truly an extract, & not the whole thing?
Clipmarks looks a bit like Google Reader now, with a nav-pane of multiple posts on the left and a window that displays the whole text on the right. This seems to me to be a bit more feed-reader-like than ClipClip, although of course the "river of news" that is being fed is a composite of multiple users' selected content, rather than the account-holder's selected feeds.

I'm still making up my mind (insert Whitman quote here.... the one about Multitudes...) but I think my ultimate issue here is the risk / possibility of a "rival focal point" developing for the conversation. If there's action around one of my posts / ideas, I'd like it to either be on the post, or link directly back to the post, rather than coalescing at the clip. See section 3 "Parallel Microspheres" of my Community Participation post for an earlier and broader statement of the same psychosis. Ok, so I have issues....

Hit the comments / trackbacks (or the comments on the clip?) to set me straight!

Filed in:
Posted at 5:38 PM by John.
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Blogger Greg said...
Nope, I don't like it.

It fractures the focus with its comment-stealing. Plus, it forces owners (and regulars) to check a mirror site for relevant comments. All to generate more pageviews and ad impressions that benefit no-one except ClipClip.

What advantage does this service offer over "traditional" bookmarking (including quoted excerpts)? The only one I can think of is if URLs are not permanent (ie content changes).

Outside of this case (ie for nearly all web content), I hope people have the good sense to avoid this service and not expect anyone to read their comments therein.


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Blogger Singpolyma said...
One word : plagarism.

I see enough posts from FreshBlog et al on other's blogs (sometimes with, sometimes without credit), which is dumb enough. A service designed to do this just makes things worse.

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Blogger chao said...
Hi John,

This is Chao Lam, one of the creators of clipclip. Thanks for a very constructive and thoughtful posts. We view clipclip as much more complementary than defocusing. Users choose what they like to clip and assemble clips to their own purposes, often very different from the original author's intent. For example, your blog entry was clipped under the activity (grouping of clips) "collect writings about". Thus, it's quite likely that comments on the clips would be to compare and constrast the different clips about While, it's much more logical to comment about your blog entry directly in your blog.

Your other points are well taken and it's definitely food for thought as we figure out how to improve the service. Thanks for writing and thinking these issues!

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Blogger chao said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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