Monday, October 12, 2009

Online (Social) Bookmarking

The very first “online bookmarking” that I used was back in the late 90’s. Ok, so it wasn’t online in the sense that we mean today, but it did offer a feature that we get from online bookmarking sites. That is – access to your bookmarks from wherever you are. It was a feature of Netscape called Roaming Profiles. It allowed you to store bookmarks, address book, cookies, and other “shared” resources between your home computer and your work computer. This feature has been removed from the current Firefox implementation but I sometimes miss it, especially the address book part. Now, if only there was an online LDAP service! Sure, there are things like Plaxo and LinkedIn but that’s not the same thing. But, I digress…

So, in March 2008, when I discovered (that’s how it was spelled back then!), I became an instantaneous fan. You can find all of my delicious links at There are several reasons that I like delicious.

  1. It’s very easy to use. Just install the bookmarklet on your browser and click the “bookmark on delicious” button from any site. You’ll get a pop-up where you enter the information, click save and it’s done. You can also install the Add-On which works the same way.
  2. Tags. Yes, this is commonplace now but back then the concept of tagging was new. In delicious the only way to group a bunch of links together is through tagging.
  3. Networks. One of the advantages of social bookmarking vs. online bookmarking is that capability to see other people’s bookmarks. For example, if you are browsing my network, you’ll see me connected to several other people. There are many links by Lisa Parisi, an educator who does a lot of technology integration that I met on Twitter.
  4. Subscriptions. You can subscribe to tag topics to see a list of links related to the topic.
  5. Rank. You can easily see how many other people have bookmarked the same link.
  6. Blogging. It’s super easy to display your delicious list on your blog and interact with your blog in other ways.

Then I discovered Diigo. Diigo is similar to Delicious in many ways. They both have the concepts of Tagging, Networks and Subscriptions (called Groups on Diigo). It’s also just as easy to use as you can download the diigolet or the Diigo toolbar: It also integrates nicely with your blog. So, why would I want yet another bookmarking service? Here are the reasons I started using Diigo.

  1. Annotations – I loved that you could mark up part of a page with highlighting, comments or sticky notes. It’s a big help when you have a huge page and you can’t remember what on the page was important when you bookmarked it over a year ago!
  2. Save to Delicious – If you start using too many bookmarking services, you will have the same problem you had with local bookmarks in your browser. Where was that bookmark I saved? On Diigo, you can send any links you add automatically to Delicious. Unfortunately, there is no way to do the reverse (send delicious links to Diigo). That’s why I always try to add all my bookmarks to Diigo these days!
  3. Preview – You don’t actually have to click on the link to see what it was all about. You get a preview window right there.

I do miss the ranking information in Diigo but I think it’s a small price to pay. Here’s where you can find me on Diigo:

So, these are the bookmarking services I use. That being said, in the interest of completeness, I thought I would check out Kaboodle and Clipmarks. The things that caught my interest about them from Susan’s video are images and subcategories in Kaboodle and section clips in ClipMarks. Both seem to overlap more Diigo than Delicious but we’ll see…

Ok, so I checked out Kaboodle. Similar to the others, you can download a Kaboodle button or bookmarklet: I’m having a lot of trouble getting past the “shopping” focus although I really do like the image and subcategory features. I also like the slideshow feature in concept, although I’m not sure how/when I’d actually use it. You can find me on Kaboodle at but I’m not sure how much I’ll use it… Supposedly you should be able to import your Amazon wish list but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to sync with other bookmarking services which means yet another bookmarking repository to search! My feeling is that this is better for maintaining a web-wide wish list than as a general link collection.

Then, I checked out Clipmarks. Unlike the other services, there is no bookmarklet, so you have to install the plug-in which means a browser restart. Ugh! It also means that you have to repeat this process for any other profiles you use. I do like the concept of Pops which are basically kudos from other people on your clip. There is also the concept of Guides which is sort of similar to the Network in Delicious or Groups in Diigo, although it can also be compared to following in Twitter. There is also the concept of tagging and comments. Like Kaboodle, you can get a widget to show your clips as a slideshow. Clips also easily integrate with blogs, Twitter, etc… I sort of see this more as a note collector than a link collector, but I like the idea of it, especially because it seems that it will actually keep the text or media on the site even if it’s no longer visible on the original site. Sometimes it’s good to be able to keep information like this but I do question the security/privacy of this because what if there was a mistake in the original that was caught and removed… Also, you can clip directly to your blog but the ethics of this also is questionable. Does it include a requirement to cite the original source? If not, this is problematic. It remains to be seen how much I will use this site. You can find me on ClipMarks at

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thanks for mentioning us! - Albee,