Note-Taking Made Easy

Media Morph: Shifd

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NEW YORK ( -- Every week Ad Age Digital's Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Shifd.

WHAT IT IS: Shifd is basically an online repository for your notes, maps and links designed to simplify clipping and transferring content from the web to mobile devices and vice versa. Ditto for accessing your information, whether you've got a desktop in front of you or just a mobile phone with web access. It cuts out the need to separately save material to your computer and your mobile -- and the clumsy, casual work-around of e-mailing things to yourself. No need to sync a thing.

"We see a future for device-independent media, with convergence around the user experience and not any particular delivery platform," said Michael Zimbalist, VP-research and development operations at The New York Times Co., which released Shifd in beta last week. "Developing services that allow users to access content wherever they are and on whichever device they choose is an important part of our strategy."

HOW IT WORKS: A "Shifd This" button available for your web browser's toolbar makes jotting down links a one-click affair. To view, edit and share everything you've collected, you can go to the Shifd dashboard online, use the downloadable desktop application or access the mobile site. You can even add content to your Shifd account by sending a simple text message or using the Adobe AIR download.

You can add tags, too, to help filter or track your material. An archive holds your old stuff until you're ready to delete it.

WHO'S BEHIND IT: Nick Bilton, the design-integration editor and user-interface specialist for The New York Times, and Michael Young, a creative technologist in the research and development group at the company, came up with the application at last year's Yahoo/BBC Hack Day London competition. Shifd won for best overall hack.
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