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How do you keep track of your bookmarks? I'm trying del.icio.us.

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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.

How do you track your bookmarks?

I mean, when you visit a website and it's one that you hope to return to someday, how do you remember the URL?

The "traditional" way has been to add a bookmark in your browser. The problem with that approach is that your bookmarks are stored in one place. Should you be somewhere else, say a different machine or even using a different browser on that same machine, your bookmarks are nowhere to be found.

I move machines regularly but want my bookmarks available everywhere. As a result I cobbled up a solution that I've been using for the past few years: I created a web page on my own site that is nothing but a page of links that I use as my browser's home page. In fact with other pages there are several hundred links for my quick and easy access.

The big problem with this approach is that you have to have a website to put it on, and they're a royal pain to update. Each time I want to make a change I need to edit the page and re-upload it to my server.

"My bookmarks are available to you. At least the ones I choose not to keep private."

So this week I'm embarking on a grand experiment. I'm finally getting around to trying del.icio.us, a bookmarking site that's also been around for several years. (Delicious is "del dot icio dot us").

While I'm not totally happy with the layout of their pages, the fact is it's easy to save bookmarks to del.icio.us, easy to edit them, and easy to tag them in a way that represents a logical organization to me. And being a web service my bookmarks are available to me anywhere - even on my web-enabled cell phone.

But there's more.

My bookmarks are available to you. At least the ones I choose not to keep private.

Del.icio.us calls themselves a "social bookmarking site". That means that your bookmarks, tagged with whatever words you think are appropriate to describe them, are available to anyone who cares to look. You can now see what I've set my browser's home page to, and what sites I've bookmarked there. You can also see the other tags that I'm using to organize my bookmarks.

And again, only those bookmarks I've elected to share.

The social aspect has been interesting. I can see how frequently others are bookmarking the same places I do, and with what tags. And as a website owner it's pretty cool to see that 275 people have bookmarked Ask Leo! and what tags and descriptions they've used.

It's an interesting solution to a complex problem, but I'm looking forward to expand my use of del.icio.us and discovering more of its features.

I'd love to hear what you think, and perhaps what bookmark management solution you're using. Visit askleo.info and enter 11766 in the go to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and answers on the site.

Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.

Article C3120 - August 18, 2007 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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5 Comments
Karen Couch
August 24, 2007 6:43 PM

I export my bookmarks to a file and keep them stored in my aol mail. I can access these from any computer. I'm always anxious to try new things though and will look at your suggestion. Enjoy the vacation and keep up the good work. I enjoy your newsletter very much!

Dave Hartley
August 24, 2007 6:44 PM

I use the Foxmarks extension on FireFox. While it's not as "social" as del.icio.us, you don't have to do anything extra to bookmark a site -- just bookmark it locally, and Foxmarks silently updates your bookmarks online.

I use it to synchronise bookmarks between all my computers that use Firefox, and there's even a web interface so you can access your bookmarks from IE if you're away from your computer.

David
August 24, 2007 10:27 PM

I have a Yahoo account just for this issue. They make it real easy to upload your favorites just like they are in your browser. You just import the whole list at once. I have access to my favorites from any computer in the world just by logging in to "Yahoo Bookmarks". I started to use "del.icio.us" but if you have alot of favs, like I do, it's like work uploading each one separately, it got old real fast....lol

Rob
August 25, 2007 12:56 PM

I use Google Bookmarks, they are really easy to edit and organise and of course they are available to me on any computer I use.

Terry Coon
August 26, 2007 3:11 PM

I hope you do another article on Delicious.
I have been using for eight months now and really like. However I am tagging most things with same name as URL.
Also it loads differently at different times. Sometimes there is 2/3 page of recent entries with Tag bar on right. Other times the alphabetical list of tags followed by untagged entries loads on left where you can "ground" it as side bar. I am confused but happy.

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