How to organize and share articles?
August 14, 2012 9:48 AM   Subscribe

What's the best way to organize and share web-based articles between a few dozen people? Right now we're using Lotus Notes and it is really bad.

I'd like to be able to archive and sort articles in different ways. So after I read an interesting article I would pull it into the database, flag some relevant terms, and move on.

If somebody else wanted to find everything about a term we've designated, she could click the word and a bunch of relevant articles that we've accumulated would pop up. Or she could enter her own search term and see what pops up.

Lotus Notes is slow, clunky and not user friendly. I would guess what I'm looking for should be web based. I've tried Diggo and Evernote but they haven't caught on with my peers.

Any suggestions?
posted by erikvan to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
flag some relevant terms and click the word and a bunch of relevant articles that we've accumulated would pop up are both instances of tagging.

It seems to me that what you really need is something very similar to a group Delicious or Pinboard account (on either one, added links can be private.)
posted by DarlingBri at 9:53 AM on August 14, 2012

Pinboard is perfect for this.
posted by Nelson at 10:02 AM on August 14, 2012

How about Kippt?
posted by deansfurniture5 at 10:03 AM on August 14, 2012

Sharepoint is the default answer. I wish it wasn't but it is. It autoindexes uploaded docs, and allows you to add metadata descriptions, and is generally easy to search for and wrangle documents, including versioning and access control.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2012

Pinboard does all you want, and it'll even archive a copy of the articles to protect you from link rot.
posted by philipy at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2012

Yea Sharepoint is a beast to set up. It makes setting up an Exchange environment seem like installing Google Chrome by comparison. If you've got the IT resources I say go for it, as it's pretty awesome once it's going...just be forewarned!

Shared notebooks in OneNote might be a viable alternative too, although a tad more clunky on the shared could definitely work as a way to meta-size different forms of media into a searchable format.
posted by samsara at 10:15 AM on August 14, 2012

SharePoint is shooting a fly with a cannon. Instapaper lets you search the text of stuff you save, and you can use bookmarklets to quickly save pages. Pinboard is my next choice.
posted by desjardins at 11:29 AM on August 14, 2012

Instapaper lets you search the text of stuff you save

Pinboard does that too, but only if you're paying for the archiving account.
posted by philipy at 11:35 AM on August 14, 2012

Hm, I forgot that Instapaper doesn't have tags, but again, you can search the entire content of the article. You can use the "summary" field to add notes, but it doesn't appear to search them. Also, you can send any of articles to Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, there's an iOS and an Android app that work beautifully, though I just use the Instapaper app.

Anyway, Instapaper is your solution if you're ever going to be working on mobile devices. If you save something to pinboard, the site to which you linked may not open correctly on a mobile device, and SharePoint is an incredible pain in the ass (in general, but especially on mobile).
posted by desjardins at 11:35 AM on August 14, 2012

This might seem like an odd suggestion, but Google Docs is a possibility. It would definitely be a change, but its so dead-simple to use that the simplicity (and mobile site) might overcome the fact that it's a change. That's oftentimes the critical factor in making a switch - does it drastically improve things, and is it easy to learn?

If this is for a company, you can use Google Apps, and if it's just a personal group then you can all just use your Gmail logins. Here's what you do: create a folder in Google Docs to hold all of the documents. Share that with everyone in your group. That's your shared database - everything in the folder. Then anyone can add articles to the shared folder for everyone else to see.

When you want to add something to the shared database/folder, download the web page (as a web page / HTML). Then upload it to Google Docs and convert it to a Google Document. From there you can add your keywords to the top of the document so anyone who searches for the keyword will find it.

As for the keywords, there are a few things you can do. The simplest it to just let everyone search: if you want to see documents related to electronics, search "electronics" and they'll come up. That's what I would do - it saves you from having to tag things at all. Another option would be to create a subfolder within the shared folder for all keywords. A Google Doc can be in multiple folder simultaneously, so anything pertaining to "electronics," "security," and "electoral politics" goes into all three folders and shows up when any of the folders is accessed. Or you could come up with an agreed-upon convention to distinguish all keywords such as a prefix. For example, you could add the word "key" to any keywords. So to tag something as "electronics" you type "keyelectronics" in the document. Anyone who wants to see articles with keyword "electronics" searches for keyelectronics.
posted by Tehhund at 2:32 PM on August 14, 2012

Thanks for the comments. The suggestions so far are:


I'm going to give Pinboard a try. The $9.86 joining fee may keep other users away, but so far I like the interface and the simplicity of the site. If it doesn't work I'll try Kippt next.
posted by erikvan at 2:34 PM on August 14, 2012

Tehhund, I really like the idea of leaving it up to users to search for their own terms. And Google's simplicity and ubiquity are attractive in getting people to actually use the damn thing.

I'm a little concerned about the level of difficulty in adding an article/page to the Docs. But this seems to be worth a try. Thanks.
posted by erikvan at 2:39 PM on August 14, 2012

If I can make a suggestion, try Delicious. It is the same as Pinboard (as far as I know, I have accounts on both) but free. As with Pinboard, you can put a bookmarking icon on your toolbar to save and tag with one click, and that is how I archive everything - its so simple that you do use it.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:05 PM on August 14, 2012

Please note that there is no reason to use Instapaper over Pocket - Pocket has exactly the same use case and feature set as Instapaper with a few improvements and additions, notably tagging. It's also free.
posted by 23 at 6:49 PM on August 14, 2012

Thanks 23 for the Pocket suggestion. Looks like Pocket is great for saving articles that you want access to, but it seems to have some issues with sharing.
posted by erikvan at 9:35 AM on August 15, 2012

« Older Helping, selfless, yet jealous?   |   *Yawn* Oh look, it's you again... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.