Monday, June 19, 2006

Last Re-Sort

I spent a good portion
of the weekend attempting to re-organize my bookmarks.

I have a account, but I've found it almost too austere and utilitarian. That's right, it's simply designed and useful. That's why I hate it. So much of its functionality is hidden from users - how do I import my bookmarks? Can I have multiple word tags? Didn't see any obvious help available. Gave up solely because I demand instant gratification.

Ma.gnolia, on the other hand, creates a pretty page, but there's far too much whitespace. The space between bookmarks couldn't be reduced. Big and elegant and ugly.

I settled on Blinklist. These options drew me in: Multiple-word tags. Obvious way of importing bookmarks from browsers/other sites. Fairly sleek, easily-modified tags.

There are problems, however. My first attempt at importing my Firefox bookmarks was a flop. I got about half of them into my account. Then I had to edit the .html file, trim out what I already imported and re-import the rest. Even after that, I still suspect that not everything made it.

The second major problem is hopefully just a result of growing pains (though it could be a Firefox issue). Navigating my bookmarks would yield strange behaviors. Certain bookmarks would refuse to open up their info for editing; I'd have to open up the site in a new page, delete the old bookmark and re-Blink the site. Sometimes deleting pages would cause a fairly substantial delay or even freezing.

Then there's this: I'd open up my tag list, then choose a list I wanted to clean up. I'd get through the first page, then select to navigate to the next page and I'd get an error. Re-selecting that same tag would yield more links than were showing up previously. Add to that some random SQL errors.

I know, I've totally convinced you to try out a buggy new site when a stable solution already exists.

But it seems to work for me.

Now I just need to figure out how it's useful.

Sure, bookmarks anywhere, woohoo. Not really an issue; I rarely find a need to access bookmarks away from home. I suppose if I lose my data it will be helpful. So it's bookmark insurance.

As a bookmarking tool, however, it's useful on the way in but not the way out. That is, the ability to add a link, tag it and describe it is great if you take the time to do it while you surf.

But from the other direction it's not particularly useful. First off, it's a whole big page. It needs to be a small, hiding sidebar.

Also, the tags can be great, but I like folders, too. Folders allow me to spatially navigate my links. Tags force me to try and remember how I labeled the links.

That's the state of my organization. My actual bookmarks tag is a disorganized mess filled with broken links. My blinklist is filled and tagged and almost worthless to me.

I am complete.


Duncan said...

Yeah... I just use Foxmarks and a limited number of computers. Actaully, I have Firefox (with Foxmarks) installed on my flash drive, just in case I need to use a non-firefoxed computer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us a look. Since you're into design, you might appreciate that Ma.gnolia was specifically made for people who don't feel comfortable with or find usable dense, phonebook like lists of bookmarks and are more at ease with a catalog-like experience. For those folks the design has the right amount of whitespace and they don't find it ugly. For others, it doesn't work, but we're not out to please everybody. Thanks again for giving us a try!

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