Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rethinking Bookmark Sync

I was really bummed to hear that Xmarks is shutting down their service. They are one of the few web services I've tried and quickly become hooked on. With bookmark sync, browser based bookmarks Actually Work.

It takes a little time to setup a sync service, but once you do, the return is almost instant. All of a sudden, a single unified set of bookmarks is everywhere. Like I said, it made bookmarks useful for me again.

So, Xmarks is out - who should I try next? I decided to go with Firefox Sync, as the majority of my real surfing and web development happens in FF.

As I hoped, setting up Firefox sync was totally painless. In fact, it's so invisible, I almost didn't realize it wasn't working. My issue: I needed to disable Xmarks for sync to work.

One area where bookmarking sync'ing wasn't working particularly well for me was the tracking of potentially blog-worthy articles. I loved that I could drag a tab into a To Blog folder, and poof, I'd be able to easily find it later to blog about. The problem is, after having bookmarked about 105 articles, the list became really cumbersome to use within Firefox.

The solution I'm trying is to leverage Google Bookmarks for blog-worthy stories. Google Bookmarks is a no-frills bookmark tracking system, kind of like the big boys out there. But, in my case, I don't need all the features offered by those services.

The end result is that I now click a Bookmarklet to save a page worthy of writing about, instead of using native Firefox bookmarks.

I was able to import my 150 or so existing blog idea pages (the vast majority of which I won't write about) into Google Bookmarks, and it swallowed them up perfectly. It allows me to sort them by date, so I can easily browse through them. I'm thinking this will work well.

Now, if only some company will come along and save Xmarks at the last minute - I'd be glad to switch back to them in a minute.


  1. I too am bummed that Xmarks is closing up shop... its been a great friend. I liked it when it was only Firefox, but when it went into the world of cross browser syncing... it became a product I couldn't live with out... So my solution.... not sure yet.. I was thinking of using Delicious, but maybe Google Bookmarks will work... thanks for the tip.

  2. Anonymous12:17 AM

    XMarks is not dead- they have received serious interest from investors since announcing their demise. Read about it on their blog:

  3. Thanks Anonymous - you're right, xmarks looks like it'll live. Whoo! Thanks for sharing.