Pinterest has fueled the discovery engine in many of us and has become the digital collectors go-to for mindless meandering as well as a source of inspiration. It’s sort of like the Internet’s version of hoarding.
Despite its popularity, the site remains invite-only, but if you haven’t managed to get your hands on an account, there are other options. These visual bookmarking applications might not have gained the acclaim (or fundraising) Pinterest has, but they certainly boast similarly infinite collections of all the stunning and bizarre things the Internet has to offer.
You can register for the emoticon-happy site via Facebook, Twitter, or email address. You can install a browser plugin to let you “heart” images across the Web. You can also explore on the site, browsing, hearting, and creating or looping items into your own categories without being redirected from the main page, and the “My Heart” icon takes you back to everything you’ve selected. The site will best fit fashion, design-types.
If you like the idea of Pinterest but not the content (i.e., photos of cupcakes, sweaters, and Etsy crafts), give Curisma a shot. The site, created by two MIT students, focuses on tech and gadgets you might not otherwise come across. It also rewards the users that find the items and add them via its browser plugin with its Curisma-meter. The site also takes into account the things you like, creates a list of items you might want to buy and shows you deals on where you can find them. So beneath the product-discovery surface, there’s definitely a sales element, but if you can get past that (or even like it), you’ve found a new way to seek out cool tech.
With a Tumblr-like UI, TheFancy is all visuals and barely any text. Thankfully the site is so dead simple and self-explanatory that this isn’t an issue. With a toolbar extension, you can “fancy” images from anywhere and add to your virtual treasure trove. You can create your own lists or let TheFancy make smart lists by analyzing the content and organizing it appropriately (“food,” “home,” and “gadgets” are a few category examples).
Snip.it is a more no-nonsense approach to the digital discovery game. While it definitely has a large collection of product and image snippets, it also works as a news bookmaking service. Text definitely takes a backseat to multimedia content, but you can easily and quickly access articles via the site as well. It doesn’t have the same sleek, minimalist UI that most of these other sites do, but it’s more about substance than presentation.
True to its name, this platform is focused on photos and graphics. So if you’re sick of seeing DIY ideas, recipes, or product listings floating across these various sites, Vi.sualize.us will be a welcome relief. We’re not huge fans of the UI or text (it lacks uniformity) but if you want to browse and bookmark some of the most eye-catching images on the Internet, you’ll be a fan.