Paul Ford, former web editor of Harper’s, thinks that ‘sharing is hard work.’ That is why he created the web extension SavePublishing. Within a couple clicks, you can extract any line from the web and post it to Twitter. You too can become one of the Twitterati and share the best content on the internet.
Of course, the bookmarklet does not give you wit or quickness of mind, but it will help pick out sentences that are the most tweetable. One you have saved the tool to your bookmark tab, you can use it on any webpage. When you click it, it will highlight the best lines and, if you are signed into Twitter, create a tweet box for you. Although impressive, the program is not particularly refined: it cannot tell what makes a good sentence, it simply checks the length of sentences to ensure they are Twitter-length.
Ford initially created it as a joke, but now says he uses it all the time. He told website Co.Design:
One tweeter said the bookmarklet makes them want to both high-five and face-palm. That’s how I felt too. It seemed like such a bad idea, and yet I decided I needed to build it and see what happened. A friend described it as “turning Twitter into Pinterest for sentences.”
The tool is useful because its extraction of sentences helps people share articles that they may not have known how to share otherwise. These days, many people read things with the view of sharing in mind. Ford says:
Web pages are weirdly monolithic. Links and URLs are social, but the content you see on a web page is often hard to share. People who like to share what they’re reading are looking at this material in a very different way from the publisher. They’re looking to cut it and paste it.
The bookmarklet, in all its simplicity, makes the content more accessible and social.
As for those pithy one-liners… we’re still waiting for that app.