Help, I’ve Been Tynted!

Here’s a tool which will certainly allow for much amusement. And it could also be a great way to communicate feedback on web page usability or content.

Tynt is a program which allows users to add text, drawings, highlights and other fun things to web pages. These can be shared with others by email or through a social network like Twitter.

News of Tynt.com propagated through the social media universe and landed in my field of awareness this evening. I believe it was a tweet from Guy Kawasaki which linked to his Holy Kaw! Posterous blog. On it, a user by the name of Derek indicated he had mercilessly “tynted” the post. Here it is, the very first tynt I ever did see: http://holykaw.com.tynted.com/my-favorite-place-in-the-world

Tynt, just over a year old, has kept a relatively low profile until last week when they announced a new website, new version and integration with Twitter. Technically, the program is still in beta as it works out the kinks. There has been concern over Tynt and search engines, and the fact that this new content may get indexed. Tynt has also strongly been accused of stealing or scraping content for its own benefit. According to them, the program only ever visits the original site and all Tynt content is simply layered on top of the existing site (when the Tynt browser plug-in is used). In the case where the viewer is accessing a Tynt through a gateway (no plug-in installed in the browser) the gateway does not access a stored version of the underlying site, but rather loads the original site (including all images, media, advertising, and so on) and displays it to the user. The original site gets the ‘hit’, the ad view and so on.

Tynt CEO Derek Ball states, “We hope that Tynt can prove valuable to the underlying site by creating more page views and more ad views by encouraging people to share the sites that they feel a desire to comment on.”

It will be interesting to watch how the use of Tynt spreads now that it has embed codes for sharing Tynts as links.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the tynted version of this blog post:
http://tynted.com/0LVV0rBN30s