How to give quotes a life of their own

notetaking image by geek calendar and released under Creative CommonsI am experimenting with the social media sharing tool which lets you select a quote from an online article, save it, comment on it, share it, embed it and give it a whole new life.

When those who find it interesting, as a tweet or Facebook status update, click on the link they go through to your site and read the quote which is highlighted in blue.

If they click the quote they go to the piece the quote was taken from and are able to read it in context.

But if they don’t get that far, the quote has the potential to form a life of its own, either enhanced, enriched, damaged, distorted, or just existing as an object of entertainment.

If you log on and go to your page, you can select the option to read the piece later. Once synced with my device, I have all my selected quotes in one place, plus any comments along with links to the original piece.  

Fairly neat. The grab below is of my latest saved quotes (at the time of writing).

Screen grab from iPad showing panel

Embedding quotes

The embed function lets you do just that, grab the quote you are interested in and embed it in on a web page. Here are the quotes I selected today from a variety of sites. There is no editorial significance for these being grouped together, they are just quotes that caught my eye and which I thought might help illustrate this piece.

From The Independent.

From The Daily Telegraph

From the BBC.

From The Guardian.


So, how could this be used? I can think of a number of ways it could be useful for journalists.

  • As a way of picking out important elements of stories and summarising the content accurately and with direct references.
  • For a pick of the day or pick of the week driving users deeper into a site’s archive.
  • For selecting a poorly developed angle in a story written by someone else and moving it on.

Following and followers

Like all social media platforms, lets you follow others and lets them follow you. You can connect it to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and it will connect all those who are using (not many in my case, but it’s early days).

Minor issues

I have come up with two issues which I have sent to the team (they have a really nice feedback/contact form).

  1. I’d like more categories – particularly media and journalism. The choice of categories at the time of writing are Arts, Culture, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Life, Politics, Science, Technology and Work.
  2. I’d like to be able to edit my tweet before sending. At the moment, you highlight a quote in a page, click on the share plugin on your browser and then the tweet icon. The tweet is sent having picked up the headline of the piece. I’d like the option to edit the tweet.

But these are minor issues. I like the tool and will play with it more and try to think through how it can be used by journalists to improve their storytelling and news dissemination.

If you have any ideas or experiences with, please share them below.

Note: Image of notebook used in this piece was taken by Geek Calendar and released under Creative Commons.