ZooTool is a bookmarklet designed to give users a little more than a simple list. The system includes many additional features that allow users to organize bookmarks as they add them and quickly reference them later. The ZooTool system includes color thumbnail images to make it even easier to browse previous bookmarks. Users can also connect ZooTool to their Delicious, FriendFeed, Twitter and Tumblr accounts to share their favorites and see what friends are looking at. Users can also label each new bookmark with tags which are used to keep them in an order the user can easily understand. Through ZooTool, users can collect images, documents, videos and links and share them with others.
ZooTool began as a part of founder Bastian Allgeier’s Bachelor thesis in Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences located in Mannheim, Germany. Since it was created in October of 2007, the tool has expanded to include support of over 30 video platforms, Scribd Documents, Slideshare, RSS feeds, and mobile access for iPhones. The system has even added a unique reader intended for Wikipedia articles. Today the application is labeled a visual bookmarking application which is managed by Allgeier and Hartmut Wohlbier.
ZooTool stands out because it is not a standard bookmarking tool. Users are given greater control over how their bookmarks are organized. The user can add tags or view bookmarks through thumbnail images. The application can also be connected to a handful of popular social networking profiles, making it far easier to share favorite images, links or videos quickly.
The ZooTool website welcomes visitors with a stylish green and black color scheme. A feeling of going on safari is enhanced by wispy grass elements along the bottom of the page and a stylish rhinoceros who stares lazily as the site explains itself to the visitor. The bookmarklet is easy to use and helps users not only compile lists of favorite bookmarks, but allows them to organize as they add them through tagging.
A new user can click on the small “Join” link found at the top, right hand corner of the website. This is not immediately obvious because it is quite small and not highlighted in any way. A green button found along the left hand side of the homepage can also be clicked. Users with Internet Explorer browsers will be advised that ZooTool is not compatible with their browser (and most likely never will be). The user must have either Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome browsers to continue. If the user is browsing with one of the supported browsers, a pop up box will appear with the registration form. The form requires a username, email address, password, and terms of service acceptance to complete.
ZooTool offers a simple service that is enhanced through many innovative tools and features. This works very well but is not really something most people would be willing to pay for. The site currently lists no premium paid membership. Anyone can register for an account for free. There is no word on whether this will ever change. The site has already added many helpful tools without charging for the luxury of using them. This is a big plus to convince users to switch over from their current bookmarklet tool (or from using no specific tool other than those that come with their browser).
ZooTool is an excellent bookmarklet for anyone who saves a lot of links, images, videos and more online. The application makes it much easier to not only save but organize and share the things the user finds online. Through ZooTool, users can easily stay organized and avoid the inevitable cleaning up that is sometimes needed after a log period of negligence when using a watered down bookmarking system.