Short takes: Mightybell opens, Convo releases Chrome extension

I am a packrat, storing and sharing pages and links for all sorts of reasons with all sorts of groups.

For example, the Future of Work community that I founded recently has a website as a general purpose desription of what we are doing, but the actual community interaction is taking place on the social community platform Mightybell, specifically at mightybell.com/communities/futureofwork.

Today the company announced that it was opening the doors to all who want to create their own social community. I have written up my experience with Mightybell (see Mightybell rolls out Communities), and today’s release is not a major rejiggering of functionality (although Gina Bianchini, the CEO, told me in a phone call yesterday that some of my wish list — like RSVPs for events — are in the next feature push).

One of the most critical needs — and one of the reasons to consider Mightybell — is a well-designed bookmarklet. Curating content for a community or working group is essential. Here’s what Mightybell’s looks like:

Screenshot 2014-04-03 15.02.12

I wish the Mightybell canvas didn’t cover the top of the story, because I often forget the author’s name, and would like to retain it. But Mightybell allows me to select what image from the page to pull into the post.

I can contrast that approach with that of Convo, the work management tool, which recently announced a sophisticated Chrome extension. Now Convo is not a perfect competitor with Mightybell in that it’s not designed for open communities, but closed, by invitation only workgroups. But I have used Mightybell in the past for that purpose when the primary modes of the community were curation and discussion.

Here’s the same page being saved in Convo:

Screenshot 2014-04-03 15.00.28

See that the Convo canvas is to the right, and allows me to see the lede of the story. Note also that Convo supports a full tag system, while Mightybell only supports categorization (which they call ‘collections’).

As I said, no one would necessarily choose a social curation solution on the basis of how good the bookmarklet or Chrome extension is. However, I rejected the use of a competitor to Convo, a work management tool — Workmate — because it lacks any bookmarklet or extension, as far as I can tell, and email requests regarding that feature got no response.

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Stowe Boyd

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Lead analyst Gigaom Research

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