“There are so many great digital texts out there,” says the vocieover in the video embedded below. “Web articles, blog posts, e-books—texts you feel inspired by, and you want to dig into; you want to remember. But you always find yourself stuck between different applications and switching between different devices. The process of reading and working with digital texts feels broken. That’s why we invented •••dotdotdot.”
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Just two days ago, as some of you may recall, we ran a brief item by Juli Monroe about this very same topic—the inherent frustration, that is, of having so many different types of content located on dozens of different apps—and perhaps even on a handful of different devices—at any given time.
A new Berlin-based startup calling itself •••dotdotdot, however, claims to have developed a solution. And from what I’ve seen of the product thus far, I tend to think that it may end up being a winner.
About a week ago, I heard from Thomas Schinabeck, a •••dotdotdot co-founder, and he explained the project to me like this:
“We are building an independent digital reading platform for long-form texts, regardless [of] where the texts come from. This means not just e-books, also blog posts, articles, papers, etc. [•••dotdotdot will allow you to] read, interact and collaborate with like-minded readers, manage all your texts in one place, and effortlessly create your archive of [readable] knowledge.”
Or, as the app’s tagline claims, “It brings together all the texts that matter to you, in one place,” regardless of whether they’re from the Web or an e-book.
Schinabeck also mentioned that the project is still in its closed beta stage, so while you can sign up and reserve a user name, the app isn’t quite ready for its grand entrance just yet. From what I can tell, the app actually is minimally operational right now, but I’m not sure if everyone who signs up at this point will automatically be offered an invitation.
According to the startup’s cutely named blog, ••• connecting dots, in its current stage of development, dotdotdot allows you to do four essential things:
◊ Read and manage all of your eBooks (DRM-free ePubs) independently from any bookstore.
◊ Read texts from webpages, like blog posts or articles, in a distraction-free format on your iPad. When you import webtexts via our browser bookmarklet, dotdotdot clears away everything but the content. Long-format text clean and easy to read.
◊ Interact in and collaborate on all your texts; highlight, tag quotes, make comments, and see what others are reading and commenting on. Get inspired by what other people are reading via your community of like-minded people.
◊ Create an archive of all your read knowledge: While you read on dotdotdot, you are building your own personal library of long-format texts, essentially an archive of your read knowledge. You can search all your highlights and quotes, tag them, sort them and never lose a inspirational thought or text again. In many ways, we are still in the starting blocks. What you see here is a very basic version of the app, still early in the development process. Thanks again for testing and for being a part of the project.
For more details about the project itself or its eventual alpha release, I’d suggest following the team’s Twitter feed and checking out the video below.
dot dot dot – the texts and thoughts you care about – all in one place. from dotdotdot hq on Vimeo.
Go to www.dotdotdot.me to learn more.
Interesting, but the deal breaker for a lot of readers will be the DRM-free ePub part. Lots of people buy from Amazon and don’t break the DRM.
However, I’m glad to see companies working on solutions. It’s just a matter of time until something comes up that hits all the piece people need. Maybe this one will be in, in a future iteration.
Hey Juli, I probably should have mentioned this in the post, but the DRM-free EPUB only business is just a temporary thing. Since the app is still in closed beta, it’s not operating at full speed just yet (and I don’t think it’s even available to the general public). If you take a look through the dot dot dot blog, I believe someone actually posted a comment asking about the exact same thing, and someone from the startup responded by saying that that would be changed/expanded by the time the app goes fully live. (At least, I *think* I’ve got that right!)
That makes it far more interesting then. I’ll be curious to see what it’s like when it goes live.
Yeah, no doubt. If you check out the site and the video, you’ll see that it all looks very professionally done. I’m guessing they had investors of some sort. I’ll try to remember to keep on eye out for the official launch so we can mention it here.