Over the last week, I’ve been checking out some new tools for social bookmarking and looking back at some old favorites. A lot has changed in the two years since our social bookmarking showdown. Users expect more than just saving bookmarks. We want to share them with friends, put them on our blog, and incorporate them into the other tools we use every day.
Before we get to the list of tools, here is the criteria I used to rate them:
- It can quickly store my bookmarks — get in and get out.
- It provides ways for me to share and syndicate my bookmarks.
- It archives the page, or the portion that is of most interest to me.
- It helps me discover new content.
Best bookmarking tool: Ma.gnolia – An old-timer of social bookmarking, Ma.gnolia has continued to innovate. Its API has led to several applications and the open sourcing of its code could lead to many more. You can add or join groups, which maintain collections of links on shared interest topics. As always, Ma.gnolia looks nice and it’s easy to use quickly. There’s only one other tool I looked at that saves the entire page, something Ma.gnolia has done for some time.
Best new bookmarking tool: Diigo – Though intended as a group research tool, Diigo works just as well when used on its own. It has a bookmarklet that can be used in any browser, but its main use is as a browser toolbar for Firefox and IE. In addition to normal bookmarking, you can highlight text and add floating “sticky notes” to the page. This sounds like additional fluff that can get in the way of quick use, but it is remarkably fast and later lets you view just your highlighted text. Since it is meant for collaboration, it has great group features, which can help you discover new content or fellow users.
Read my full review of Diigo.
The remaining six tools are displayed in alphabetical order.
Clipmarks may be the most social tool I reviewed in the Better Bookmarking series. You can follow others, similar to Twitter. Then you receive a stream of the latest content shared by those you follow. Like a couple other tools I looked at, Clipmarks lets you highlight the text or images of most interest to you. That makes for a livelier stream than just a list of links. Plus, Clipmarks packages everything in a chrome that, while sometimes slow, can be added as a widget anywhere on the web.
Read my full review of Clipmarks.
Delicious is the granddaddy of social bookmarking. It’s still super fast and has some admirable tools for sharing and syndicating. Outside of a recent redesign, not much has changed since Yahoo bought the site in 2005. That means it hasn’t become worse or better. Enough people still use it that it’s still useful for getting a feel for what’s popular.
Friendfeed is a popular newcomer that some might not even call a bookmarking tool. Its core functionality is to combine your many feeds from various websites into one location. Additionally, the service lets you inject links directly into your single feed and each item has its own comment thread. Add to that topic-driven public and private rooms, and Friendfeed has many of the features I’d want in a bookmarking tool.
Iterasi is a Firefox extension for saving entire pages, not just bookmarking. It still meets many of the criteria I outlined above. If you don’t want to enter details, you can quickly save a page with a single click. Plus, it has many sharing and syndication features, my favorite of which might be embedding an archived page within another page.
Read my full review of Iterasi.
Snipd is a brand new tool from this summer’s Y-combinator funding. It’s short a few of the criteria, but it performs its core functionality beautifully. Snipd uses a bookmarklet that lets you highlight pieces of content — text, images and even videos. The outcome is a stream of content that looks like it took more than a few clicks to create. I’d like to see more social features and an API, but this is an awesome tool for a summer’s worth of work.
Read my full review of Snipd.
Twine is the first product from a well-funded company working hard on the Semantic Web, which helps make information equally understandable by machines and humans. You can use Twine to bookmark, but the real power comes from its interest groups on the site, where you can discover new content and people with similar interests. If Twine’s trajectory continues, I’d expect to see them top this list next year. One feature I’d love to see is text highlighting. Why not just buy Snipd?
Read my full review of Twine.