Organizing The Web: Kanasha and Markkit.

28 Mar, 2009

You pass into many websites, webpages, blogs, blog posts, videos and pics everyday. Many of them might have important information to you that you want to save for later retrieval. Browser built in bookmarking option provides this wanted feature, while Delicious provides it on the cloud and as a FireFox extension, with the option of adding notes and tags.

However, in many cases you do not want to bookmark the page only, you want to save certain information inside it, this is where 2 Arab startups came to offer a hand: Kanasha (Arabic interface only) and Markkit.

Kanasha is sort of a web based notepad for the Arab users. It aims to help you save your notes and observations while browsing the internet but it goes beyond the internet giving you the option to add any note like when reading a book or even while in the phone.

The website is very simple you chose your notebook title and you start adding notes to it. 

The meat in Kanasha is in helping organizing the internet for you with it is Firefox  (FF) Extension (under testing) where you can add any text (manually or through highlighting) effortlessly in the following ways:

1- Click on Kanasha icon at the bottom of FF and start typing while you are browsing any page.

2- Highlight any text in any website and then right click and chose save to kanash.

3-click on (CTRL + ~) .

The second option in Kanasha FF extension is similar to markkit, a service developed by my friend Slim Amamou from Tunisia, though the differences are: markkit only saves texts from any webpage, all you have to do is Drag’n’Drop the markkit yellow pen (found on its website) into your browser toolbar (no need for FF extension). Whenever you want to highlight text in a web page, click on the markkit bookmarklet and it save them.

Another difference is that markkit uses a cookie to authenticate you and your saved web text, so if you delete your cookies or use another browser or PC your saved text won’t show up. Slim said he is considering in the last Arab Techies gathering in Cairo adding a sign- in option in order to offer you any where access to your web marks, but that did not happen tell now. 

One more difference is that marktit bookmarket works with more browsers than FF: Opera, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

How web organizing can be better:

What we need is something that mixes both of them, currently through kanasha FF extension, adding text from any web page can be added to any of your current list of notes, but there is no link to the web page where the text came from, but marrkkit provides this option, and lacks Kanasha other features of organizing notes into titles along with adding your own notes.

The other thing I would like to see is photos and video direct bookmarking and saving, not just hyperlink bookmarking like delicious does, but extracting them into my web notepad, so I have my collections of favorite pics and videos in one page under one note/s. (I do not wana mentions tagging as it is a basic feature of the web now a days.)

Kanasha might have sharing capabilities as mentioned in its website, I think this should be among friends and the public. If gained market adoption , we will see a public repository of notes (knowledge) submitted by the users, which would be a valuable information and knowledge source (aka A new wikipedai :P).

Kanasha or markit should look at the semantic web to make them more useful. Twine is a good example of the next generation of startups developing semantic web apps.

Image by : Iwan Gabovitch.

Update: I also advice Kanasha to add English interface.

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  1. Ahmad Alharthi  |  March 29th, 2009 at 7:19 PM #

    very useful sites, i love them all specially knashah 😛

  2. Organizing The Web: Kanasha and Markkit. | ArabCrunch « euraktiva  |  March 29th, 2009 at 11:30 PM #

    […] Organizing The Web: Kanasha and Markkit. | ArabCrunch. […]

  3. Ayman Khateeb  |  March 30th, 2009 at 11:05 AM #

    I’m not sure what kanasha offers here, I cannot see anything before logging-in, so i’ll drop it!

    from your description, I cannot see any real benefit over Google Nootbook or Zoho notebook..

    again, we come to the argument, I want to use a reliable service to clip all my notes and links, images… etc.. why should i go to kanasha? what unique service does it offer?

    honestly, I see Google Nootbook much better till now, in terms of the features, and most importantly, the lack of reference of the page you clipped…

    more and more, all I see some Arab people trying to mimic or replicate what foreign entrepreneurs did years before…

    it is good to be able to do that, but this will not get you business! especially in the Web2.0 space that is not tied to a language, or a location..

    for markkit, I really liked the idea, and it is something very cool, but as you mentioned needs some redesign to make it portable…
    another problem i noticed is that the author re-renders the web page on his server and this way applies the highlighting.
    apart from the security issues, some pages will not render correctly, for example, i tried it on this blog and gave me some visual problems.
    But it is a cool idea, especially that there is no need to sign up or go anywhere, very user friendly and easy to use…

    congratulations!

  4. Slim Amamou  |  March 30th, 2009 at 8:06 PM #

    Ayman, you’re right markkit has some bugs that have to be fixed. It still does not work on 100% of the pages on the world wide web.

    I’m working on it. Thanks for the feedback 🙂

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