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September 29, 2011 / carlispina

Bo.lt – A New Way to Share, Edit and Comment on Websites

Bo.lt

Bo.lt is a service that has many potential uses. At its simplest, it can be used be used as a link shortener much like bit.ly, complete with custom links. But, Bo.lt goes far beyond this. It also allows users to add a comment to the website that they are sharing or even to edit it. And, through a few additional commands, users can also generate a screenshot, edit a page or find other pages by the same user. Because Bo.lt also includes a curation feature, users can group links together to save them for the future. All of the content can be branded with the user’s own avatar and information.

Personally, I think the most interesting feature is the ability to edit websites before you share them. This includes the ability to delete sections of the page and to add images to the website to customize what you want to share. This means that you can highlight certain content by deleting extraneous information. Or you can add content to show side-by-side comparisons of images or other content. While many different types of users might find this feature useful, I think that this feature could be particularly useful for web designers. Using Bo.lt, a designer can add or delete content on a page to see it themselves or to share it with clients or collaborators. When editing pages, Bo.lt also allows users to comment on and edit either the webpage or its underlying HTML, meaning that web designers could also use it to show snippets of code to be deleted from a page or added to another page. As an example, I used Bo.lt to show what this blog would look like without its sidebar.

Overall, I think that Bo.lt has a lot to offer. It has integrated analytics features and a very self-explanatory user interface. It also offers an array of features that work well together or can be used individually depending on the project. In addition, Bo.lt offers a Chrome plugin and browser bookmarklet to make it easier to integrate their product into existing workflows.  And, all of the features I have discussed are available with a free account (though users can also secure their own domain for an additional fee). It is also possible to test the features without registering at all.  So, there’s really no downside to trying it out!

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