Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Are Bookmarks Dead?

I saw this blog post recently- Observation: Bookmarks Dead and it got me thinking about my own use of bookmarks. A quick background; I am a fairly heavy web user who does web research both professionally and just messing around. I swapped from various incomplete syncing solutions for my bookmarks to the social bookmarking service delicious about a year ago. What I noticed for the first time when I started thinking about this was that I actually almost never use bookmarks anymore! I have my bookmarks toolbar across the top of my browser (Firefox) with my most visited sites. Then I have a sidebar open of delicious bookmarks down the left hand side displaying sites chronologically as they were added, most recent at the top. I quite frequently click on the top 5 or 6 of these as I go back to topics I'm currently working with.

But really that's all I do. I can easily go a month between searches of this list to find a bookmark by its tag. Although delicious is fast and very well designed I usually just Google it again. As a bookmarks list, despite it being a good one, I never really use it. Maybe bookmarks are dead, at least for me.

When I find a useful piece of information I want to keep, I keep it, rather than just bookmarking the URL. I use Evernote or a WordPress javascript button to capture the page. I could use Zotero for this as well, but I want to keep my library organized for academic journal articles only, rather than misc web-stuff.

Sociality: Sure I might use delicious differently if I joined a social network of friends to share bookmarks. It would be great if there were recommendations, like from Amazon, of things someone with my profile might also like. At the moment I find most new links from blogs, FriendFeed and Google searches.

For me the URL-list is dead and the new social bookmarking only slightly better. I am living with a combination of (1) frequently visited sites (2) information storage (3) Googling everything else. Rather than Web_2.0 I feel like Web_0.5 is where I'm at!

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