Posted on February 8, 2009 - by Khaled
In the previous blog post I mentioned 46 Essential FireFox Extensions Every Web Designer Should Have. Among these WebNotes. I really liked this useful FireFox extension (available for IE and for Safari and Google Chrome in a light version) as it turned to be a fast and truly easy to use giving a whole new meaning to the online notes. Whether you are using it for academic sakes, for communicating with your clients or “just” to organize yourself, your business and collaborate with your team, WebNotes is really outstanding.
I had the oppurtunity to have an interview with Alex King, the Director of Marketing at WebNotes, and I didn’t want to miss such a chance. So here are few insights about WebNotes.
– I am really glad to have you answering my questions! First of all can you introduce yourself and WebNotes?
We appreciate you writing about us! My name is Alex King and I’m the Director of Marketing here at WebNotes. I’ve been here about 5 months and I am having a great time working with these guys.
WebNotes is essentially a service for anyone who wishes they had an online highlighter or sticky note tool to markup the web. Aside from being able to highlight/sticky note, annotations can be organized into nested folders (by client, or project, etc), and shared with colleagues via permalink or email. Many of our web design users like to use WebNotes to interact with their clients when iterating through various site proposals.
– What about the team can you quickly introduce them?
Right now there are 4 other full time employees and 1 intern. The 4 full timers (Ryan, Bennett, Peter and Matt) are all brilliant engineers from MIT and Roger, our intern, is a serial entrepreneur who is helping us with marketing.
– What sort of technology lies beneath WebNotes?
– Any specific reason for these choices?
– What inspired you to create such product?
Ryan Damico, our CEO, was doing research for a class at MIT a few years ago and found the available tools for organizing his research woefully inadequate. He soon realized that other people had the same issues and decided to create WebNotes.
– What advantages and features do you think are the most attracting for Graphic/Web Designers and Developers?
As a whole, WebNotes has been designed to be extremely easy to use such that it integrates naturally into a developer/designer workflow. That said, the sharing features are probably the most attractive for designers so that they can keep their team and clients up to date with new revisions of their work. For designers and developers doing research on their own, WebNotes is also a great tool to quickly manage online content and keep track of their thoughts.
– WebNotes is still in public beta, when a final version will be released?
We are looking to release a new and improved version of WebNotes in the next few months.
– What are the main differences between WebNotes toolbar and WebNotes Bookmarklet?
First and foremost, the bookmarklet doesn’t require any sort of installation (it’s just a bookmark that you place in your browser). This allows it to run on a greater variety of browsers such as IE, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. The toolbar works on Firefox and IE and allows the user to access the organizer directly from a side panel. At the end of the day, however, the difference is based on what the user prefers and whether they want the fully featured toolbar or the more lightweight bookmarklet.
– I noticed that your web site and the toolbar itself are nicely designed! Do you think this is a plus?
Yes! I’m sure that you and your readers realize the importance of good UI, and we have spent painstaking hours focusing on this area of our product. In fact, it took us an entire day just to pick out the colors to make available in our highlighter tool!
– In the footer of the WebNotes site one can read: “Go green… make notes online!” is it just a slogan or do you mean what you say?
A substantial number of our customers used to print out websites for the sole purpose of annotating them and distributing them to their team or clients. We firmly believe this wastes paper and printer ink on resources that are easily lost and misplaced. While our number one goal is to improve the productivity of our users, we want to let them know that saving paper is a great ancillary benefit.
– Did this kind of ecological concepts help shaping your initial idea of creating WebNotes?
As per this question, we started off as a productivity tool and quickly realized that there were ecological benefits to be had as well.
– Is there a grand plan for the future of WebNotes?
There are many directions we can take at WebNotes as we move forward, but our goal will always be to offer the highest quality, easiest to use research tool on the Web. Right now we’re focused on building up our core services, listening very carefully to feedback from our users, and scaling up; where we take our service after that will depend on the needs of the market.
– Do you have a business model? how do you make money?
Later this year WebNotes will be releasing a premium version of its service. After that, we plan on continuing to add functionality that will greatly enhance the productivity of our users.
– Anything I didn’t ask about and you want to add?
We’d love to give your readers access to WebNotes. Would you like any Beta invites to distribute?
I hope that thanks to this interview you have a clear idea and a better knowledge of WebNotes. The excellent research, annotation andorganizing tool. For the invitation code (you need one in order to register) just click here. There are 50 invitations available for the moment. But once they are all used we can probably have more offered here.