Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ditching Google Bookmarks and moving to..

I finally had to ditch Google Bookmarks because of its deficiencies (which I will explain below). The only regret is that I am moving my bookmarks outside the Google ecosystem. Maybe, if I keep using Google Bookmarks for quite some time, it might improve and there might be better integration of Google Bookmarks with their other services which would make my life easier.

What I mean by advantages of Google ecosystem and its integration is that, say for example, I can create a document in Google Docs and later on I can post that as a blog into my blogger account (I might have given a bad example.. if you have a better example, please let me know). So, it lets me move my information and thoughts across different web applications with ease. All my information is consolidated. That's what I mean by "Google ecosystem and its integration advantages".

I might still be updating or taking copies of bookmarks in Google Bookmarks for the above mentioned reasons. But it depends on my time.

Now, I don't blame Google for its deficiencies in Google Bookmark because they never claimed that it was a social bookmarking site. In fact, its a pretty decent personal bookmarking web service. Its just that I am need of some advanced features which are available only in some good social bookmarking sites. Let me just list out as to what kind of features will take it from "good to great" bookmarking service.

Sharing of bookmark: This is one of the main reasons why I want to move out. When Google has been great at exposing information in the form of RSS feeds in most of their web service (for example, feeds from blogger or shared items in Google Reader), I could not understand why they could not do so for such a simple but yet powerful web service.

Private and Public bookmarks: Of course, I can ask for this feature only if the first one is implemented. I would like to share some bookmarks and hide some of them.

Integration with Social Networking sites: This is an era of social networking and if you are an average user, I can bet that you must be having an account in at least one of the following: Orkut; Facebook; MySpace. Most of the other web applications provide ways to share their application in these kind of social networking sites. For example, I can put my twitter profile in Facebook. So, it would be great if I can share my bookmarks in such social networking sites.

Grouping Tags: Its good that I can tag my bookmarks. But it would be great if I can group them into categories or folders. When I could do this in Google Reader then why not in Google Bookmarks.

Blog Integration: Allowing me to add link and/or tag roll widgets into my blog is missing in Google Bookmarks.

Basically, I am asking Google Bookmarks to mature from a personal bookmarking site into a social bookmarking site.

I know Google has been working towards an other web service called Google Share Stuff which is an effort at bringing in the concept social bookmarking. But it is still in its infant stages and has a long way to go before it matures (out of the Google Labs as well.. talking of Google Labs and their beta applications, I am not if Google Bookmarks has graduated out of Google Labs.. I am assuming it did).

Now, I went out hunting for a good bookmarking site. Not many useful reviews or comparisons were available (at least I could not find them). But I did get some pointers on which were the most famous one. And after quick look at each of these services and considering their usability and look'n'feel, I decided to go with deserves a separate post for itself where I would like to explain its features and advantages. But for now, to tell you in short, its a great web service.

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