Board by Creonomy – Private space online for collecting the things you like

I’m very pleased to report that I was wrong in my previous post about Board being a dead product. In fact three nights ago I got an email reply from the developers telling me that it was very much alive and kicking and that they were planning to roll out an update in the new year!

Here’s part of their reply:

This new version will target teams, and together with a new and fresh UI and tons of features (several file format support, better tagging system, proper search, comments and whatnot) it will comes with the concept of “organization” a-la-GitHub so that professional teams will be able to create groups and permissions to quickly share as a team and securely share with customers. It’s basically a full rewrite of our app after tons of direct feedback from our users.

But what should make you sleep comfortable is that we have customers, and we are working hard to make this our source of wealth. Board is only a piece of the puzzle we have in mind. We are out to develop a Suite of products for the creative professional to cover all the daily needs with a consistent set of tools.

I was just so pleased to receive that reply and I’ve since subscribed to their service because I can’t wait to see what they’re going to churn out.

So this officially ends my search for an online service to collect images and things for inspiration. This is an ongoing problem for me as I tend to browse a lot of sites for inspiration and can never figure out the best way to keep all those images that I glance at for a split second but don’t want to forget. Especially in my line as an architect it’s a valuable resource to be able to recall small things like the corner of a roof or the colour of a living room.

Previously I used Zootool to collect webpages with images that I found worth a second look. It helped that Reeder (my favourite RSS feed reader for iPhone/iPad) had support for it. But it was never easy to access the website nor to then sift through all the images that I’d collected, which were numerous. I hadn’t used it properly in years and then the service closed in early 2014 erasing that option.

Another option that I considered briefly was Ember by Realmac Software which looks easy to use and powerful at collecting images. But the limitations are that it’s only available on the Mac and doesn’t have a web-app. I use Windows 7 at work and I can’t install new software on my workstation so I need a service that’s available on any web-browser.

The free options that I looked at included: Delicious, Pinterest, Dragdis. Delicious is a bit of a mess right now since they were taken over by Yahoo. Interest in the service has been lukewarm at best. Some even call Pinterest the service that Delicious could have been. And by now I’ve seen the little ‘P’ icon turn up whenever the mouse cursor pauses on top of most images. So I checked out Pinterest… but I wasn’t impressed. To be frank I didn’t use the service at all but I got turned off by the fact that I had to pick topics I was interested in just to start using it.  This is just a ploy to get me connected to other peoples inboards which I’m not interested in. I’m just scared off by the social media slant where they make it easy to collect and share with others  with the same interests but not much else. All this is just so that their company can grow and keep signing up users so that they can earn some big pay check when they get bought over by someone huge or attract some large investment. Also Pinterest is just too cutesy and feels like something an amateur might use as opposed to a professional.

That’s what really drove me towards Board. The tag-line on their website says it all: “The private space for your imagesYour Private Online Space

Take a minute to read that again and maybe you’ll see how special that is. In this day and age when almost everything you upload online is meant to be viewed publicly selling the idea of a private space online is actually pretty novel. There’s no pressure to share any of it or invite friends to try it out. It’s yours and yours alone. I liked that fact immediately and I’m sure others will too.

In terms of features, Board gives you the option (with the Chrome Browser extension) to clip images or full webpages in ‘boards’ that you create and name according to your interests or projects. You also have the flexibility to share any of these boards with different individuals or a team. Information about the original url is easily accessible and so going back to the source is a snap. Lastly, you can integrate the service to others like Dropbox and Evernote, multiplying the possibilities. This makes it vastly superior to Dragdis which is only browser based (no native apps) and does not play well with other services.

Furthermore I like the way Board has positioned itself to make money out of it’s users instead of monetising the data that they collect. I was fearful that their subscription wasn’t sustainable but I guess that it must be! Serious professionals will be happy to use a service like Board which doesn’t cost a whole lot but offers tons of functionality.

Ceremony sounds like a young company with only a couple of people helming it but so far their product, their business model and their future roadmap is promising enough that I’m willing to take a bet with them and support their work. There’s not a lot written about Board online and I guess that’s because it isn’t a free service that allows you to decorate your Facebook page or Twitter feed. I’m hoping that writing about it will help to promote the service to others like me.

If you too are a design professional who collects things online but doesn’t want this information sold to marketing companies Board is the right @place for you. Click here to check it out now!

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