Bo.lt, easy Web page editing and sharing

Sharing Web content has become a major occupation for everyone who uses the Intertubes so every day millions of people send each other billions of snippets, clips, image, and links.

Bo.lt, web content editing so simple

Working on the premise that sharing existing Web content can be made much more sophisticated, a company called Boltnet offers a service called bo.lt that provides for sampling and remixing of content along with URL shortening and social sharing.

To use bo.lt you enter a URL on the bo.lt web site (you can do this anonymously as well as when registered) or simply add "bo.lt/" as the domain name in a URL; thus, http://bo.lt/google.com would allow you to load and edit a copy of the Google home page.

Note that Web pages with fancy content such as Flash and JavaScript may not be editable.

Once the content of the target page is loaded into bo.lt's Web-based editor you can delete any of the page content or add a link to any item on the page as well as change existing links. And if you need to get fancy, you can also edit the underlying markup by selecting the HTML editing mode.

The only problem with the bo.lt editor is that if you want to, say, retain a couple of images but get rid of the table they are embedded in, you'll have to edit the HTML which is not always that easy. If the editor had the ability to copy, cut, and paste page items to a clipboard it would allow for much easier content manipulation. Similarly, while you can edit existing text you can't add any new text to a page without editing the HTML.

Once you're happy with your page hacking you can save your version and, if you want, add a comment to it and give the page a name. The result is a page that can be accessed through a subdomain of the bo.lt domain that you pick when you sign up. Note that the only way you know that you're not looking at the original page is by examining the URL and a "flag" on the top of the page that, when you click on it reveals a badge with your account name, a link to bo.lt, and a link to the original content.

Bo.lt provides links to all of the usual social media and includes analytics so you know how your "bo.lts", as the company calls them, are doing out there in the big, wide, social whirl.

The concept of bo.lt is interesting and the techniques used are worth exploring if you're a Web application designer or marketing professional but how valuable will bo.lt be to the average user?

I see this as a niche service for more advanced users looking to share found content, people building Web sites and developing marketing strategies (the service can provide the basis for A/B testing), and people who want to "borrow" and repurpose content which is something that you'd think could have potential legal implications for bo.lt.

The basic service is free for less than 100,000 page views per account per month while commercial accounts targeted at the likes of brand managers which offer additional features, such as allowing for integration of bo.lt with the client's domain (so that pages are apparently served from the client's Web site), start at $2,000 per month.

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Bo.lt, web content editing so simple

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