First off, you will notice that in my title, I use the term, “Shopmarking.” Never heard of it? That’s because I just created the term and figured it would be a good term to use for services such as Kaboodle. There has been some discussion about Kaboodle and I have repeatedly seen the term, “Social Bookmarking” used when describing it. Yes, it is in a sense, Social Bookmarking, but I feel this term confuses the reader. Instead, I am calling it, “Social Shopmarking.” I feel this will help give a better first impression of what the service is to a reader, and hopefully other services may like this term! Now that I have that off my chest, what exactly is Kaboodle? Kaboodle is a service that will make your life a lot easier when it comes to shopping on the internet and trying to pick that perfect item you are looking for. After reading TechCrunch’s and Om Malik’s thoughts about Kaboodle, I gave it a look and found it to be an excellent service that is definitely worth mentioning.
Kaboodle allows you to add products that you come across on the web that you are interested in buying and placing it on a page. You can place multiple items on one page, rate and comment them, and even share them with the public. For example, if you are looking for tables: Signup for your free Kaboodle account and then add their “Add to Kaboodle” button (bookmarklet) to your favorites. Create a new page called, “Tables,” and then head on over to Office Max and find a product of interest. Then use their button (bookmarklet) and add it to add it to your page. You will see something similar to the above screenshot. It will then direct you to the page in that you add the item.
Once you are directed to the “Add to Kaboodle” page, you will see the product you were looking at with a title, description, and image already prefilled for you. This makes it extremely easy for you to add your items of interest. Kaboodle will automatically search the page and find images, content, and price ranges so you don’t have to. Don’t like the prefilled content? Then change it! Look for the words, “Does it look OK to you? If not, click here to fix details,” below the item. Click on the “click here” link (I feel this should be, “If not, fix details,” and link the, “fix details,” instead of “click here.”). This will then bring up a page that will allow you to select images, title text, descriptions, and highlights (usually price ranges) that Kaboodle has automatically chosen for you. Adding an item in Kaboodle is extremely easy. I personally have had some times where I just skipped the page selection as I feel it is not a big focus point for me. This then usually brings up a problem with the pages and editing that I will point out later in the post. Another thing I would personally like to see is a field to allow us to add our own image… which reminds me. I had noticed that when you select an image from the products website, it does not save the image to Kaboodle but continues to use the image from the product website. I’m not sure if that is a good thing. Isn’t this considered hotlinking images? What if the products images are removed from the product site? Will an “X” come up or no image box? These are not big issues, but just something that comes to mind.
Now, you may say, “So what? I made a list of products on a page. Why is that so special?” The thing that makes Kaboodle so great is that you can make your pages public and allow them to rate and comment on the products on your page. You pages will list each item that you have added to it and each item will have stars and a comment link. I like to rate the items myself, just so I can see what ones I am liking. Then when I am done with the list, I can easily see what one I prefer. I can also add comments for myself along the way, which is useful for pointing out good features of a product. When you view your pages, you can also edit your items. You can click on the link, “Fix Details,” to bring up a page, much like when adding. Before I had mentioned that I feel when adding an item to a page, I sometimes forget to select a page from the dropdown list of pages. Why is this a problem? Because it does not seem as if I can change the page an item is on once it is added. I added a table to my computers page and because there wasn’t a way to change the page it was on when editing the item, I had to remove it and add it over again. That’s all really. Other then that, everything works great.
You can see I used the term, “social,” when describing Kaboodle. As I said above, you can mark your pages as public. This will allow Kaboodle visitors and users to see your pages by the selection they provide on the main page or on your “My Kaboodle” page when logged in. How else can you get people to visit your page? You can invite them. Go to one of your pages and you will see on the top navigation, “Email this Page.” Clicking this will allow you to insert email addresses, a message, and grant the ivititee(s) access to add items to your page. There is one thing that I feel could be a lot better though with the public pages. I feel that it is hard to find public pages because as time goes by, the pages will go away on the public listing page. Can we have a search field to search for pages or items? Maybe even tagging functionality?
Overall, I find Kaboodle to be an excellent “Social Shopmarking” service that is very helpful for when shopping. I am currently on the look out for office furniture and accessories, so this is perfect for choosing the best items for my office. Also with Christmas coming, I can start making pages for each person in my family and add items for them on their pages. Very useful. But I found Kaboodle not only shopping, but I have found it useful for my own personal bookmarking as well. I have found myself using it on normal websites and making a list of sites that I want to review on Solution Watch on a private page. Sure, this is not what the service is meant for, but it sure works great for organizing sites too!