A lot of the time I’m pretty critical of Google, and while I may not agree with everything they do, or every agenda they push, there is no denying that have made the web a better place, and have provided us with some really helpful tools. One of the areas that they have missed the mark on is bookmarks, off the top of my head I can recall having tried four or five different attempts that had some interesting twists but always fell short IMHO. So in this post I’m going to give the folks at Mountain View some ideas on how they can build a better bookmarking tool, and crush everyone else.
Delicious: Delicious is currently my favorite bookmarking tool of choice, I don’t use it for things I visit everyday but I do use it for interesting articles that I think I might want to use or read in the future. I can access from anywhere and even save to it using my mobile phone. However I can’t reach it if I don’t have web access, I can’t type in something I think was on the page, and if the page goes offline it’s gone.
Magnolia: Magnolia seemed like they had the problem solved all of your bookmarks were in the cloud and they had backups of all the pages, so no worries if a page died. Except of course magonolia died, and all of the data did get lost, bummer.
Foxmarks/Xmarks: Foxmarks recently renamed itself Xmarks (umm okay) what it does is sync up all of your local bookmarks and passwords to the cloud, so you can keep multiple computers in sync, or access your bookmarks from everywhere. You have access to all your bookmarks online or offline, but large set of bookmarks become unwieldy, so it works best for stuff you need to visit/use often not long term storage.
What a bookmarking tool needs to do is solve a few problems:
- Store all of the sites/links I visit/use regularly
- Store in a separate “bucket” the sites I want to keep as a reference for the future
- Tags, send to a friend, share
- Keep a cache/archive of the sites in case they go offline
- Have the ability to search the pages I have bookmarked for text I put in
- Sync or backup more than one computer to the cloud
- Store MULTIPLE (double bold double underline) passwords per website and sync/backup to the cloud
Google has a lot of this technology already in place it’s just not tied together. You can bookmark stuff but it’s only in the cloud not your local machine (you know people write offline and can insert links). You can share stuff but it’s clunky unless you use google reader. They have a cache of most pages but it’s not tied to bookmarks. One of the bookmarking tools actually does search the page contents but it’s not a well known feature. There is no sync between cloud and browser it’s either or. Chrome lets you only have one password per site, and doesnt sync to cloud.
If I were running a search engine and looking for ways to gather user data that had a high signal to noise ratio something like that would be pretty darn useful. If I had a new brrowser that I wnated people to switch to giving them features like this would be amazingly powerful. If I was looking to convert the delicious power users, giving them a permenant cache and in page searching would be pretty attractive, especially if there was a migration tool.
Google you have all the pieces to make a better bookmarking tool you just have to find the resources to bring it all together, from where I see it a tool like that could be pretty powerful.