PearlTrees offers users an interactive way to socialize, share interests, and gather resources on subjects they love. The site works by allowing individual users to begin building their own “pearl trees.” Each pearl is an item the user finds interesting. The user sorts each pearl by topic so one pearl leads to others that are related (creating a tree). User can connect with the pearl trees of others, and even pick branches from their pearl trees to add to their own. By giving users the ability to share and see each other’s pearl trees, the site allows them to constantly make changes and additions as new content is discovered. Also, Pearltrees Team allows users to create a Pearltree together in realtime.
PearlTrees, based out of Paris, France, was founded in March of 2009. The site was originally intended to use social elements to help users discover new contents related to things they find interesting online. The site helps users make connections between each other and things they enjoy. Today, PearlTrees still serves the same purpose, bringing users together as they share resources about the things they feel passionate about in life.
There are many tools that help users sort favorite items online, such as bookmark tools for URLs. However few actually allow users to associate and discover items quite like PearlTrees. A user can organize his or her favorite resources on topics they find interesting. As they add “pearls” they may discover others with similar “pearls”, which can lead to the discovery of whole new branches full of pearls they did not know existed.
The PearlTrees website features a plain white background complimented by a stylish animated movie explaining the way the site works as well as an eye-catching, rounded blue logo. All entry fields match, with rounded sides to pull the unique appearance of the site together. Although the site uses a very basic color scheme, the design is very attractive. New users have no problem finding the items they need and learning about how PearlTrees works as soon as they arrive.
As soon as a new visitor arrives, they are greeted with the account creation form, which is tucked neatly along the right hand side of the homepage. Users are asked for a valid email address, username, and password. After clicking the circular blue “OK” button at the bottom of the form, the user is taken to another form asking for additional personal details, including real name, location, and a mini bio. Users can also choose between French or English languages. The final steps involve installing the PearlTrees extension, which is attached to the user’s browser.
Anyone can stop by the PearlTrees website and create a new account. There are no membership fees or premium accounts offered at this time. Although the site may be vey useful, the functionality doesn’t really justify a payment, anyway. Which is good, because that means PearlTrees is priced just right: free. It also means more users will be enticed to participate and possibly connect through shared pearls.
In reality, anyone with any personal interests can enjoy PearlTrees. Primarily users that spend time on the internet can get the most benefit. The browser button makes it easy to add pearls as they are found. Users can also discover new resources they may have had no idea existed by exploring similar pearls of other users.