Bookmarking Services: General Considerations and Example Problem Solving

    The problem of storing bookmarks is as old as the Internet itself. As co-founder of Excite Joe Kraus recalled:
    ... at the end of 1995, when Microsoft offered to buy Excite, its technical director Nathan Mayrvold shouted in her hearts: Search engine is not a business. People use it only once or twice, and having made bookmarks for found sites, they never again access it. *
    Here is such a respectful attitude to bookmarks was present at the dawn of the Internet era.

    To access the hidden “just in case” web pages, bookmark storage services were needed in the past, they are needed now and will be needed in the future.

    Obviously, the problem of storing bookmarks is important for all "living on the network", and this problem is somehow solved using various tools and various approaches. But there is no generally accepted set of tools.

    The most popular “solution” is bookmarks in the browser. A kind of crutch that allows you to save a dozen, another bookmarks, and then pile up an uncluttered pile and think about solutions that allow you to manage a large number of bookmarks with great comfort.

    It is unnatural to use local software on a local computer to manage bookmarks.

    To work with a purely network resource, it is natural to use an online service.

    For some reason, bookmark storage services have not pushed unconditional leaders out of their ranks. At one time, it seemed that there was a recognized leader and this is a delicious social bookmarking service , which in its best times (in 2008) announced 5 million users and 180 million unique bookmarks. However, over time, the service has lost its appeal, and with it loyal users.

    Such a disgrace is possible, because in most cases it is more convenient to contact the search engine, although there are exceptions when only the exact addressallows you to find the right page.

    Perhaps there are no obvious leaders because the graphical interface has not been invented that is killer than all other visual metaphors for bookmarking services.

    The main graphic interface templates used in bookmarking services are as follows:
    • Bookmark hierarchical folders
    • a portal-like list in several columns;
    • flat list and tag cloud;
    • tile previews.
    There are completely different approaches, each one is good in some way, but there is no one right way.

    There is no certainty, disoriented users have to confine themselves to the history of visits and auto-substitution in the browser.

    But what if we transfer a successful visual metaphor from one sphere to another?

    When designing the TheOnlyPage online service , it was decided to use the familiar online mail interface:
    At the top there is a search bar, on the left panel selection labels for various categories, in the central part a list (letters / bookmarks) with dates.
    Selecting / filtering the desired bookmarks is carried out instantly by entering text in the search bar or clicking on the left panel with keywords and colored tags. You can also arrange bookmarks by creation / editing / viewing time by clicking on the corresponding column.

    A successful GUI template is good for manipulating already saved bookmarks, but creating new bookmarks is more convenient with a special bookmarklet that calls the usual form for creating a new bookmark.

    To install the bookmarklet, you just need to drag the link to the browser bookmarks bar.

    Read more about the installation procedure here .

    If necessary, create a bookmark on your favorite page - just click on the bookmarklet link.


    As a result, a form with already filled fields will be displayed. Click the Create button and the bookmark is created, loaded into TheOnlyPage and ready for further use.

    Thus, the usual mechanics of working with online mail help you quickly get used to and work productively with bookmark collections.
    * I quote from the book: How it all began (Faunders at work. Stories of statups' Early Days) Jessica Livingston, Russian edition, Moscow, EKSMO, 2012

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