Online bookmarking dilemma


I have been facing the problem of which online bookmarking service to use for quite some time now. This is due to the fact that I have the StumbleUpon and Google toolbars installed on Firefox, and also have accounts on deli.cio.us, blinklist and digg (and possibly some others which I can’t remember right now :-). Too diversified for my own good you say. Well my thoughts exactly. So, if you have any suggestions or comments be my guest.

So let me do some old fashioned analysis on this subject. First off lets list my requirements:

  1. Convenient to use from browser (few steps to bookmark page)
    • browser extensions/bookmarklets to bookmark and tag pages – Brw Extn
    • tags suggestions or better yet auto tagging for known pages (a la StumbleUpon) – Tag Sugg
  2. Easy to search through bookmarks and tags – Easy Search
  3. Sharing of bookmarks – privacy settings per bookmark – Share
  4. Post to blog/other service on a timed basis (something like daily/weekly bookmark lists) – Timed posting
  5. Proper public Atom/RSS feed of bookmarks – Pub Feed
  6. Import/export bookmarks – Imp Exp

Googling for a comparison of these services gives me this Read/WriteWeb article from about a year ago, but it’s missing Google bookmarks. Looking at the list, diigo does seem interesting though. A shot at Mashable turns up an article on a list of 50+ social bookmarking sites – so much for consolidation. However, furl and bluedot do look interesting (and I have heard of them before) – save copies of the page along with the bookmark hmmm…. sounds a bit like Clipmarks. Looks like we have 2 new candidates for the lineup. So here’s the final lineup for the comparison: StumbleUpon, Google bookmarks, deli.cio.us, diigo, furl and bluedot. Now onto the comparison table (based on my experiences with some of the services, the 2 articles I mentioned and information on the sites) – column headings based on requirements list above:

Service Brw Extn Tag Sugg Easy Search Share Timed posting Pub Feed Imp Exp
StumbleUpon Y Y N Y N Y N
Google bookmarks Y N Y N N N Y
deli.cio.us Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
diigo Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
furl Y N Y Y ? Y Y
bluedot Y ? Y Y ? Y Y

Looks like we have a tie in the feature comparison between deli.cio.us and diigo. I’ve tried deli.cio.us before, but diigo does seem quite feature rich and promising. In fact diigo seems to support posting bookmarks to rival services. On the other hand, deli.cio.us is quite well known and supported almost everywhere (wordpress.com even provides a widget), and I have found people posting their bookmarks to their blogs on a weekly/daily basis (possibly using technique like this). Then again diigo is a lot easier to type when making a review :D. It was reviewed favourably on cnet.

Jokes aside, let me try out diigo for some time before I make the final (I wonder if there’s any such thing as “final” ) decision. Now only if there was some way in which I could get my shipment of bookmarks from StumbleUpon to diigo somehow.

To round things up, just a few notes on some of the other services:

  • StumbleUpon is still quite good, especially for its “channel surfing” ability, but it’s not the best suited to be used as a bookmark manager. Also, the bookmarks feed does not seem to be supported on some sites twitterfeed and tumblr. So, sharing this way is ruled out for the time being (it does work with Google Reader which supports sharing)
  • Google bookmarks is also quite easy to use through the Google toolbar, but there’s no way to share the bookmarks or set their privacy. They did add the missing Import/Export feature sometime back, so we could expect the feature set to grow. Also, there is not much integration with other Google services like notebook, browser sync etc, which makes the service seem a bit orphaned right now.
  • I’ve tried blinklist, but the problem with that was the browser bookmarklet which didn’t load properly all the time. So, it failed at the basic level itself.

Update (20/9/2007-4:00pm IST): I’ve started using diigo and imported my bookmarks from deli.cio.us, which is a built in feature, and also installed the diigo toolbar on Firefox. The bookmarking and highlighting feature seems to be working properly, with the ability to post simultaneously to deli.cio.us and other such service (as a backup). However, the daily blog posting doesn’t seem to be properly implemented (getting error messages – seems to be done using Ruby on Rails) yet. So I have set up deli.cio.us for this, and the posting seems to be working properly.

Update (21/9/2007-10:25pm IST): Google has added a shared stuff service which allows you to share websites with others. It is not integrated with Google bookmarks at the moment, but the email feature is linked to your gmail account, plus there’s an RSS feed. So, 2 of the missing features in Google bookmarks (sharing and public feeds) could possibly be taken care of by this service.

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6 thoughts on “Online bookmarking dilemma

  1. Hi Lance. Bookmark base seems to be somewhat like a paid version Google browser sync and Foxmarks for a range of browsers. It does mention the ability to post to online services, but this feature seems to be under development. What I was looking for is an online/social bookmarking service satisfying the requirements I mentioned.

  2. Hello there! Thanks for the nice post! I’m living the very same situation… But, additionally, I’m looking for a complimentary solution to research, share and archive bibliographic references. The biggest challenge I’m anticipating is to sync everything, once I’ll have the browser bookmarks, StumbleUpon, Diigo, Del.icio.us and the ref. bibliographic site… Lots of spread info and I couldn’t find any good solution to sync everything in an easy way – yet. I’ll follow up your posts here, just to know what are your conclusions.

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