Is BO.LT Better Than Pinterest?
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
April 03 2012 05:01 PM ET
Would you use a pin to attach your TV to the wall? Clearly not, and that's the idea behind BO.LT, a site built to save and share Web pages — forever.
The Internet is full of fascinating material, things we know we'll need now or in the future. Sure, you can bookmark a page, but your browser bar can only hold a half dozen or so and the overflow can be unwieldy. And worse, pages can just disappear — and all you see is the dreaded "404 Error Page Not Found" message.
A new online service called BO.LT has a remedy. At first glance, BO.LT looks a lot like Pinterest — it's got the photo eye candy, but it's made for providing easy access to written content on the Web. Think of it as a grown-up and glammed-up version of discussion site Reddit, where users post links to stories they've seen and liked online. When you "bolt" a page, it is stored on the company's servers, so that even if the page is later taken down from a site, you still have it.
How does it work?
BO.LT, like Pinterest, includes a community, so that you can follow other "bolters" to discover new material. And it works a lot like Pinterest . Start out by selecting your interests, which will be used to fill your feed with "bolts" based on topics such as Thinking & Reading, Music and Technology.
To start bolting yourself, add the "Bolt it" button to your browser toolbar and click it when you find a page you want to save. A new window pops up where you write a brief statement explaining why the page is interesting, assign it to a category (either one you've already created or a new one), and choose an image to accompany the listing that will appear on your BO.LT page. You can add hashtags (the "#" symbol) in front of words in the description to make your bolts searchable by keyword for other community members.
Each bolt includes an image. You can select one of the photos on the page, choose a "thumbnail" image of the whole page or upload an image from your computer. A compelling image will attract more attention and followers than a thumbnail would.
BO.LT offers one-click posting to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest when you're creating a new bolt, so you won't have to bother with copying and pasting links to other sites. And, if you're a blogger , you can install a BO.LT widget on your site that will automatically format your bolts as blog posts.
But some people may not want all the attention. While users are still waiting for Pinterest to provide privacy options for boards and pins, BO.LT began with an option to make bolts visible to the user only. So if you're working on ideas for the next great American novel or better mousetrap, you can "hide" bolts and entire collections.
How do I get started?
The site just came out of its beta, or testing, period last week and now is available by invitation — an interim step before opening to the general public, and one that is still in use by Pinterest. Request an invitation from BO.LT.