Three solutions have created fresh digital takes on collecting and sharing different types of content.
SnipSnap turns paper coupons into digital coupons with an app that “clips” them with a smartphone camera. Spling aims to be a platform for sharing and storing links, and ThaTrunk makes it easy to share files with people nearby.
SnipSnap: A Digital Organizer for Paper CouponsSnipSnap scans, saves, and redeems printed coupons on your mobile phone.
Genius Idea: Giving printed coupons digital perks.
Mashable’s Take: SnipSnap is a bridge between physical and digital coupons. The app uses optical character recognition, image recognition and barcode scanning to extract data from any printed coupon your smartphone photographs. It recognizes almost every kind of coupon type.
Once your paper coupons are loaded onto your phone, the app will alert you either when you enter a store where you can use one, or when an expiration date is approaching.
The process also makes printed coupons shareable and trackable through social media. The tracking aspect is what will make the startup money — advertisers will be able to target coupon offers and deals to customers based on their coupon clipping history.
SnipSnap, which plans to release its first app this month, makes paper coupons more efficient for both the consumer and the merchant. But there’s a significant hitch in its plan: Many supermarkets don’t accept digital coupons yet.
“We are hard at work on a breakthrough method for allowing you to redeem paper-based coupons via your phone,” assures the SnipSnap website, “and are aiming to release this capability in early 2012.”
Spling: A Social Network With a Link Library
Genius Idea: Indexing the links you share around the web.
Mashable’s Take: The promise of Spling is compelling: “Share any link with anyone, at the at the single click of a button, while creating a repository where [you] can store and index [your] favorite links.”
Wouldn’t it be great to share to Google+, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Facebook using the same little browser plugin, and in the process create a library of favorite links on one page that you can refer to in the future?
Yes, it would. But unfortunately this isn’t how Spling delivers its promise. Instead, it attempts to create another social sharing space — complete with Spling friends and customizable “circles” of these friends with which to share selectively. Captured links are stored in a user profile and browsable to other users (if you make them visible) under broad categories. There’s an option to share with Twitter and Facebook, but it comes with an ad for the service (“I just Splung!”) that you probably won’t be thrilled to share with your followers.
Making it easier to share content across multiple social networks while maintaining one link database is a great idea, and if Spling could focus on that, I’d use it. But as it is, Spling complicates my situation by asking me to participate in another social network, exacerbating the problem rather solving it.
ThaTrunk: An App for Sharing Multimedia Files With People NearbyThaTrunk shares creative content to other users nearby.
Genius Idea: Proximity-based sharing.
Mashable’s Take: Authors, artists, musicians and speakers are all likely to distribute files of multimedia events. But the process can be clunky. Do you hand out thumb drives? What if you only want to give away an excerpt of a book?
ThaTrunk offers a clever solution to the conundrum. Its soon-to-be-released app uses GPS to create a proximity network that grows and shrinks with the number of other users nearby. One user can easily send a file from the cloud to all of the others near him, after which they can easily share it on their social networks.
Awesome, yes. Unfortunately, it’s only viable if there are other ThaTrunk users nearby. Asking event attendees to download an app in order to receive a file isn’t the most unthinkable hurdle, but it’s a hurdle.