It’s highly likely you’ve never heard of Gimmebar. It was somewhat of a sleeper – a web app of great quality and potential that never made it to the mainstream. Today, I found out – almost by accident – that a protracted period of silence has culminated in the end of Gimmebar. It’s a bit like losing an old friend.
I came across Gimmebar via a recommendation from a friend in August 2011. At the time, I was extensively using Google Reader (Sniff! Another brilliant web tool that died too young) and ‘drowning’ under things I wanted to keep a record of. Bookmarks felt inefficient, so I ended up emailing myself lots of hyperlinks and saving the occasional image. Then Gimmebar came along – in their own words; “Don’t bookmark the web. Save it. Gimme Bar doesn’t just keep bookmarks; it stores items in your personal library in the cloud.” It promised great things! I signed up immediately, and instantly fell for the simple interface and intelligent page design.
The premise was simple – if you came across something you wanted to save, you clicked your “Gimme” button that was a little bookmarklet that lived in your bookmarks bar. A little bar would pop up across the bottom of your screen with two zones – public and private – and you’d just drag the content you wanted into the bar. You also had the option of grabbing the whole page as an image capture, or specific items within the page (such as videos) with pop-up buttons above them. It was simple, and (for the most part) worked very well.
You quickly built up a huge library of fascinating, interesting things – there was something really quite special in seeing the things you’d bothered to keep side-by-side, whether it was beautiful interior design, cute gifs, or just random snippets of text. It was a little like Pinterest, only pretty (and that’s an unfair comparison). More importantly, you could click through onto the thing you’d saved and get links back to the original location, you could add tags and put things into collections, public and private. The perfect gathering tool for the digital kleptomaniac.
I must confess – to my regret – that I never managed to get around to creating the curated public collections that I wanted to. By the time I stopped using Gimmebar I’d saved 2.9GB worth of things spread across 100 pages. For a time, it was a hugely significant part of how I used the internet – not a day would go past without adding a few bits and pieces into my private Gimme collection. There was something restful in the ease of finding something and so effortlessly saving it somewhere safe.
Sadly, towards the end, there were the odd issues that arose – search stopped working, or it might take two or three attempts to save something. This coincided with me kicking my RSS reading habits, so I ended up gently drifting away from Gimmebar – but always enjoying popping back to see what I’d saved over the years. It’s always had a special place in my heart – it was a simple, well-designed tool that did one thing and did that one thing really well. It was a joy! So, thank you, Fictive Kin, thank you Andreas and Phil and Cameron and all the other people who have undoubtedly worked on Gimmebar over the year – it’s been a real pleasure.
And hey, thank you for giving us such a powerful and easy way to get our data out (if you’ve got a Gimmebar account, go there now to download your saved items) and browse through them. To take the time to create a decent export tool shows you care, and I appreciate that more than I can say.
That just leaves me with one thing to do – as the login button on Gimmebar now reads – “Reminisce Here!”. So, here’s a very tiny handful of things I’ve Gimme’d over the years.
Over time, I may share more little bits and pieces that I’ve saved over the years. For now, it’s time to say farewell to Gimmebar. So long! It’s been a pleasure – thank you for all the good times. Thank you again to Fictive Kin for making it, maintaining it and loving on it. Goodbye!