Findings, the fifth company out of the betaworks incubator, just opened to the public today. Using a bookmarklet, the service lets users save and highlight quotes from digital texts online as well as from their Kindles.
Clips, which are imported into a user’s “library” can be annotated with comments and shared via Twitter and Tumblr. On the Findings homepage, users can also see the latest quotes and sources with the option of following people to add their “findings” to your stream.
For straphangers, like Betabeat, who miss the pre-Kindle days of sneaking a peek at the book covers of our fellow C train riders, Findings brings that social element back to reading. Perhaps in an even more intimate way since the service allows you a glimpse beyond the cover, into fellow readers’s marginalia.
“It’s all about discovery, discovery of ideas, clips, people and other related materials. Over time we hope to conceptually connect peoples’ findings to enable discovery. We aren’t collecting what people are reading right now on their devices (e.g. Kindle). We are collecting what they annotate.”
Like its betaworks compatriots Bit.ly and Chartbeat, Findings is also interested in metadata. Data from the page the text was collected from is “dropped into the data model, placing long-form reading clips into a social context.” Although a version of the service has been around for the last three and half years, digital reading habits have only just caught up, hence the public release.
This whole thing has the potential to get even more delightfully meta, of course, when David Foster Wallace enthusiasts start annotating his footnotes.