Kwout: Irritating Spelling, Cool Service

Like many a blogger, I regularly find myself wanting to take a screenshot and cite a particular aspect of another website. I usually use Skitch or Photoshop for this, and then upload the screenshot to Flickr.

Kwout offers a faster, easier alternative. No registration necessary–you just use a bookmarklet to identify and crop the page you want to excerpt, and the image gets hosted on Kwout’s site. You can apply some minor adjustments to the style of the output. Here’s an example of an image map generated from Kwout:

Playing Ball in Belgium, Israel and Australia

This isn’t a very good example–just a random screenshot. I’ve been meaning to mention this blog, Pro Ball Worldwide.

Like a good marketer, I’ve been monitoring the web for stuff like “getting to first base barefoot” for mentions of our ebook. I got this false positive for the aforementioned blog.

It belongs to Justin Prinstein, a professional baseball player who’s plying his trade, literally, all over the globe. If I have this correct, over the course of the last year he’s played in Belgium, Israel and Australia.

There’s a tier of professional athletes who do this–play North American sports in other parts of the globe. They can make a half-decent living, see the world and have lots of time off. It’s a young man’s life, I think, but it’s got some appeal if you’re never going to make it to the big leagues back home.

Anything but Kwout

So my early impressions of Kwout are positive. It’d be cool if each item I, uh, kwouted, could have its own permalink, so that I could refer to the page later on. My only other concern is for the potential of the service to go belly-up. As there’s no registration or identity management, there’s no way to track down (and replace or download) the images I’ve generated. That’s a problem with Flickr too, but I have more confidence in their longterm viability.

Finally, I can’t ignore that lousy name. If you’re going to make up a word, at least pick one where the spelling is reasonably unambiguous. Skitch, for example, isn’t a perfect name, but you could probably spell it correctly if you heard it (and particularly if you understood the ‘digital sketchpad’ aspect of the tool).

Kwout just seems fraught with potential confusion. Not only is it hard to spell, it’s confusing to say. Plus, it immediately suggests ‘kraut’ for me. Not a great association. I’d have picked a combination of two existing words that maybe evoked something about the service (and satisfied my criteria for domain names)., for example, is available. That’s not a grade-A domain, but I’d take it over Kwout.

1 comment

  1. For such a great idea, you are right, they haven’t really thought it through, have they?

    I wonder what their goal as a company is… Even as a start up, what is their business model supposed to be?

    Heh! I really like the alternate name you chose. 😉

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: