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Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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Whatever happened to social bookmarking

Some time ago I wrote a couple of post about social bookmarking, namely about starting with del.icio.us and later reviewing Blinklist. And now, since I cannot sleep in this Moscow, I took a look at Alexa chart to see how the guys are doing… but what’s this?

Del.icio.us:

Delicious alexa chart

Similar story in case of Blinklist and Simpy.

Seems social bookmarking is out of fashion lately. Oh, and it seems Philipp Keller has already written about it. So we are in trough of disillusionment stage now. And I’m not even ashamed of what I wrote on “Peak of inflated expectations”, just still amazed how did I manage to write such a long review of Blinklist. And Simpy review was supposed to be even longer, and I even had a nice pyramid diagram of the bookmarking phenomenon, but I never got to finish the article.

Anyway, Philipp’s identification of hype stage would match my case, too, since I don’t use del.icio.us anymore. Actually I didn’t bother to reinstall the plugin after swapping the laptop. And interacting with web interface is slow and you have to navigate the pages and wait for them too load… makes me rather stick to the messy bookmarks menu in Firefox.

But that gives me some idea about the next hype stage, “slope of enlightenment”. Integrate bookmarking seamlessly into browser (not only tagging, but also browsing and searching) and it will finally work as it should, and I will use it again.

Blink’s story of a missed opportunity

Thanks to Otis I read another interesting failure story.

Blink, a social bookmarking site, had the idea and the money to become what del.icio.us is now – back in 1999. Yet, they missed the opportunity.

Some observations after reading:

  • Knowing what works today, it’s easy to forget that there had been hundred of ways to do it wrong
  • Particular details can drag the implementation off the right course, even if the idea in general is right on target

The comments to the article give some more reasons for the final outcome, including lack of development focus and too early timing for the social bookmarking idea to gain foothold (though it seems that Blink managed to acquire more clients that del.icio.us has now).

Del.icio.us! – first thoughts

Del.icio.us has just made public that it joined the Yahoo! family.

The first impression upon hearing the news this morning – things are moving really fast for these guys. Close second would be some kind of uneasiness about where it’s heading. (read more…)

Social bookmarking: an uncharted territory

CmaptoolsSocial bookmarking subject provides a good opportunity to introduce concept mapping as a tool that you can use when making first steps in an uncharted territory of knowledge.

Instead of trying to describe the approach, I will take you through my concept map of social bookmarking. Should you wish to try yourself afterwards, you will find suitable links at the bottom of this post.

Below is the concept map that I drew for the social bookmarking topic: (read more…)

Should you dump del.icio.us for Blinklist?

It was only a couple of days ago when I became a happy user of del.icio.us. My happiness did not last long, though, even if I thought I solved my bookmarking overload problem once for all.

Sometimes when you are hiking in the mountains, you can climb a mountain for half a day, then finally reach the peak… only to see the next one somewhere far above. I got kind of similar feeling when after couple of hours after posting about del.icio.us I saw this comment from Mike:

Since you are talking about taking bookmarking to the next level, I thought you might like to try our new service www.blinklist.com. No worries, you can just import all of your links from del.icio.us to give it a try. To compare BlinkList vs. del.icio.us you can just check out this page:
http://about.blinklist.com/category/general/blinklist-vs-delicious/

I started reading around first. Awful consulting bias towards researching instead of actually doing something yourself.

Finding a Blinklist review is hardly a challenge. Mike has been doing a heck of a job in terms of viral marketing. More difficult would be to find a reviewer unimpressed by Blinklist:

  • Techcrunch: “Worthy addition to the ranks of social bookmarking services, and one of our favorites”.
  • Blended Edu: “MindValley has created an impressive product with so many applications that learning communities–from grade school to corporate training?will be looking for ways to integrate BlinkList into their curriculum”
  • TipMonkies: “It doesn?t have as many users as some of the other services, but considering the quality of the service, and the obvious level of attention which it gets from its developers, I?m sure this will change soon. Definitely an A+ site, for sure”
  • Talkings of a Tyrant: “To conclude this rather short blog post, I hereby announce that I?ve switched over to Blinklist! No more ugly-looking del.icio.us for me!”

Reading these and a couple more got me interested in some Blinklist features that I thought I could like. They included ?starring? links to mark them out (I use this functionality in Gmail, though not very often), making links ?private?, and the social features in general, even if for me they are hardly a ?must-have? at this stage.

As a result, I eventually found myself ready to give Blinklist a personal try and sacrifice part of a weekend to evaluate it.

Fast forward: I?m still curious how useful in practice are Blinklist’s social features. The reason I don?t know it yet? Before you have the opportunity to play with them, you need to learn the basics, which in my case took a lot of time ? as a matter of fact more than it should. While I enjoy the idea of extending the social part of bookmarking, I have mixed feelings as to the way Blinklist handles the very basics. For now, I will stick with del.icio.us to cover my daily bookmarking needs, while keeping an eye on Blinklist, to get more used to it and maybe find a feature that would make me switch for good. Below I elaborate more on the experience that I had. (read more…)

Bookmarking taken to the next level

del.icio.usThere came a time when bookmarking list of my browser got filled more quickly than I was able to create new folders. And subfolders. I looked at my “bookmarks” menu and realized that it was such a mess that it was no longer useful.

That’s when I decided to take a longer look at del.icio.us. It seems that everyone was using it, anyway.

Now I am bought as well. Given its popularity this may not be interesting for many, but if you haven’t tried it yet, maybe I can give you a picture what you are missing:

  • The idea is to store your bookmarks online instead of in the browser
  • Another idea is to let other people see what you bookmarked
  • Now it may seem a bit weird thing to do at first glance, but thanks to this you can see how many people bookmarked the same page as you
  • Also you can drill down to see who is in this group exactly and what else does he have
  • You can use tags to classify each link (tag can by any keyword), and of course you can use tags for searching

There is also possibility to integrate my links into the blog somehow.. but I’m not there yet.

Post del.icio.usNevertheless I felt it was a must to integrate it with Firefox – del.icio.us post works fine for me, simply adds an item to Firefox context menu. But you can find a lot more at Absolutely Del.icio.us – Complete Tool Collection.