Niall Kennedy wrote an interesting piece yesterday called “Bookmarking and social sharing trends.” While the article is really about social sharing trends, and not bookmarking per se, it’s a great summary of the way people are bookmarking content on the internet. If you’re not very geeky, skip his first couple of paragraphs which are about an upcoming conference. He presents about nine ways people are currently dog-earing online information to look back at later.
The bottom line for me is this: How do I retrieve the information I’m looking for quickly and easily? That is, how can I be the most productive with the information I’ve already found once. If it takes me more than a couple of minutes to find a website or other content I’m looking for it’s taking too long. How do you find your stuff quickly, and more important, effortlessly, when you’re looking for it?
Here are nine ways. I’m only explaining two, because they are the two that I care most about. Check out his article if you’re interested in learning more.
1. Local bookmarks – this are what most people use; it’s built into their browser. The advantage is that they’re always there, ready to use. The downside is that they can be hard to organize, unless you’re really intentional. Click on your bookmarks toolbar button right now. Are they organized? Can you find what you’re looking for quickly? If you’re like most people you probably have a long list of unsorted sites lurking there. The other downside is that they are easily lost if your system crashes or you’re using someone else's computer.
2. Live bookmarks
3. Bookmark clusters
4. Synchronized bookmarks
5. Bookmarking in public – This is the method I’ve chosen to use. I do this primarily because if a site even remotely interests me I can tag it with a descriptive word and bookmark it in about 3 seconds. The bookmark is then saved in “the cloud” and I can access it from any computer or find it easily later. I’m using del.icio.us to do that and there are a number of extensions for Firefox that help me tag things quickly.
6. Bookmarking for another individual
7. Bookmarking for an affinity group
8. Shared collections
9. Additional data collection and display.
Pretty neat stuff if you’re into leveraging the information you’ve already found once, and don’t want to have to search for again.