Tool Tuesday: Trunk.ly
If you spend a lot of time on the computer and social networks specifically, sometimes you share a link you wished you’d saved. Maybe your looking for a link on a particular topic, but it was shared weeks ago and you know you can’t access it through Twitter Search. Or MAYBE you’d like to research a topic and see what links are being shared across several networks. Enter Trunk.ly
Trunk.ly basically saves all the links you’ve posted across social networks and puts them in a list. It’s link aggregation. As far as I can tell the links are saved indefinitely, for free-how long can that last? More importantly, you can follow people who regularly share content you like and get a listing of all of their links. Here’s my favorite part, guess what you need to do to save a link: nothing. You don’t need to “favorite” it or install an app on your browser or remember a password with at least one capital letter and one number. Nope.
Both individuals and businesses can use Trunk.ly. For businesses, I can see this being a good tool for an at-a-glance weekly review of social postings. Its also an easy way to see what your competitors are posting over the long term (assuming they use Trunk.ly). Though tools like Twitalyzer offer services that are better at extrapolating the information and putting it into context over the long term.
So here it is, what I like and think is “meh” about Trunk.ly
Brainless saving: As I mentioned above, once your account is sync’d with Trunk.ly, you don’t need to do anything else to save a link. It doesn’t get much more simple than this. Honestly, this is what has stopped me from fully appreciating Digg, StumbleUpon and the rest. I forget sometimes, it just goes FOOOOOOOOF, I think about it and then its gone. Trunk.ly has my back and my brain covered.
Sorting Options: Let’s say that you remember that a particular link was shared on Twitter, you can filter your results by network.
Simple Design: The overall interface of Trunk.ly isn’t all that “sexay”, but I appreciate that because it makes it easy to use. An over abundance of colorful graphics doesn’t kick my ADD into high gear.
Tags: Truck.ly shows each message with the link and it also shows any tags you’ve used. Better yet, you can actually edit the tags within Trunk.ly. Let’s say I used the tag #sm in a Tweet for space reasons, I can add the tag #socialmedia to the Trunk.ly listing if I’d like.
Smart Search: When you search on Trunk.ly, not only does it search tags, keywords within the message, but the link itself, even if that link was contained in a link shortener.
Links on blogs: if you write a blog, you probably link to outside sources fairly regularly. Trunk.ly gives you the option to track the links within your posts add them to your link list.
Source Attribution and Link: In addition to showing you who shared the link, Trunk.ly shows the favicon from the original source with a link back to the home page. Its a great way to find more thought leaders and blogs.
Could be more social: While Trunk.ly makes suggestions of people I can follow (it looks like it matches Twitter to users), there really isn’t any way for me to search for people. I CAN search for a topic and see whose posts appear in that list, but that doesn’t really allow me to find people who consistently post on a particular topic or use a particular tag.
Doesn’t work both ways: It would be awesome if when I saw a link shared by someone else I could share it to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedInÂ from Trunk.ly and it would attribute the link source appropriately.
Overall, I like Trunk.ly and can see a use for it. I generally leave it open one of my “functionality and search” tabs that I use throughout the week. Its not exactly a “must have” but I find it useful and thought you might too.
2/22/2012 UPDATE: Trunk.ly has been acquired by Delicious.com. No word on whether the new combined service will actually pull links automatically from social postings, which was the key distinguishing factor with Trunk.ly. Fingers crossed. Read the official news here.