You Mean I’m Not the Only Person Who Doesn’t Bookmark?

I thought it was a sign I was a hopeless amateur. Maybe I was just ahead of my time.

By  |  Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Delicious, the venerable Web-based bookmarking service owned by Yahoo and formerly known as Del.icio.us, launched a new version today. I fully intend to check it out, but right now, I’m still mulling over Matthew Ingram’s post about it: “Delicious 2.0: Who Bookmarks Anymore?”

Matthew uses this Twitter post by Mashable’s Adam Ostrow as a springboard to discuss why he’s finding bookmarking less and less relevant:

I found the whole notion of bookmarking being passé to be not only intriguing but surprisingly cathartic–because I’ve never been much of a bookmarker, and I’ve always felt sort of guilty about it.

How come I’ve never bookmarked? Mostly because it’s always felt like work that didn’t result in adequate payoff. It’s required a few clicks that always seem like a distraction that interferes with whatever I’m doing at the moment. (Pretty much by definition, you bookmark something because it’s valuable; I’m usually so engrossed in the content that I forget to bookmark it.) Bookmarks require folders (or folder variants such as Google Toolbar’s labels); managing folders makes me feel like a librarian tending to a card catalog, and I always seem to end up with multiple folders that duplicate each others’ purpose. Which means that even once I’ve bookmarked something, I have trouble finding it.

Another issue with bookmarks that I’ve never found closure with is that it’s harder to remember to get rid of bookmarks than to create them in the first place. Any time I’ve ever made a concerted effort to bookmark stuff–and God knows, I have–I’ve ended up forgetting to bookmark some sites I go to everyday…and leaving bookmarks related to projects from years ago cluttering up my folders.

For a long time, I had a good excuse to avoid bookmarks: They were tied to a particular browser on a particular machine, and I’ve always been a multiple-browsers-on-multiple-computers kind of browser. In theory, that excuse went away years ago when Web-based bookmarking services started to pop up. (Backflip sticks in my mind as the first one I saw and kind of liked–and it’s still around.)

I’ve tried a bunch of approaches to putting bookmarks on the Web and/or synching them across multiple PCs, but I’ve never found one that made me into a long-term believer. I couldn’t even remember the original Del.icio.us’s name, let along figure out its cryptic interface. I liked Google Browser Sync until it started creating phantom duplicate bookmarks–and if I’d kept with it I would have ended up irritated with Google when they discontinued the service. These days, I use Google Toolbar’s bookmarks–sort of–but still fumble with the fact any browser I use also has its own bookmark system. (I sometimes forget where I’ve bookmarked what.)

When I say that bookmarking is difficult, what I’m really is that other means of finding information are easier. That’s always been true, and it’s only more strikingly so today. I can find nearly anything I need on the Web in Google in ten seconds or so. I’ve always gone back to sites by typing their names into the browser’s address bar, and with the “Awesome Bar” in Firefox 3 and its cousin Flock, it feels like the browser figures out what I’m looking for within my first two or three keystrokes. (Firefox 3 also makes strides in removing some of the hassle of bookmarking, but the Awesome Bar is so good I haven’t felt the need to bookmark anything.)

For years, I thought the fact that I didn’t bookmark much meant that I was secretly a clueless newbie. I assumed that serious Web users were serious bookmarkers, and that my failure to become one was a sign I was disorganized and wasteful of my own time. So I love the notion that bookmarking doesn’t matter much anymore. Whether or not it’s valid.

And now that I’m feeling better about not being a bookmarker, I may even find the courage to explain to you why I’m not that much of an RSS user…

 
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5 Comments For This Post

  1. elzapp Says:

    I never used to bookmark, though I’ve started using del.icio.us, and finally bookmarking is a bit more useful. I still don’t use my bookmarks more than a few times a month though.

  2. jzilber Says:

    Non-bookmarkers, unite! We could create a Website and very quickly achieve the goal of getting 100% of the online universe not to bookmark it…

  3. sal cangeloso Says:

    I’m a pretty dedicated bookmarker and I use delicious. I just hate the thought of losing great information as guess, though though if things are worth remembering I can usually google them in a minute or two. Even so, being able to have a extensive catalog of all my save bookmarks, as well as having them available through RSS and searchable from any computer has proven valuable.

    As for Delicious 2.0 I’m not too impressed. I was happy with the old version and the new UI looks a bit more slicks, and maybe it’s a little faster, but it was harder worth the wait or the hype.

  4. page rack Says:

    If you’re after quick access to your favourite websites, then http://pageracks.com is the ideal homepage that you want to set for your browser.

  5. Relyt Says:

    Ive always bookmarked, usually with del.icio.us. I bookmark so much stuff online (interesting pages, articles, games, etc.) and cant afford to lose it. Using an online service such as delicious is great because I can get to my bookmarks anytime, anywhere, and also store them as a backup copy. I don’t want to rely on the awesome bar because when you clear your private data, all history (which, if you don’t bookmark, is your only means of finding pages via the bar) is gone. The awesome bar will show little to no results.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Linkin Parks « Says:

    [...] for a long time, and was extremely happy with the plug-in they’d made for FF3.  Although this offers a perspective of people who don’t bookmark, I’ve found the idea of a taggable, [...]

  2. manu prasad » Linkin Parks Says:

    [...] for a long time, and was extremely happy with the plug-in they’d made for FF3.  Although this offers a perspective of people who don’t bookmark, I’ve found the idea of a taggable, [...]