03 February 2005

5 years, 5000 bookmarks

Posted at 07:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Actually, it's only 4 years and 3 months since I started using Powermarks to manage my bookmarks. (Before that I used the browser's useless built-in bookmarking feature.) Today I've added my 5000th bookmark. 5 years just sounded better. That averages to about 4 a day, or just under 30 a week.

So what have I been bookmarking? I thought I'd do a trip down memory lane. Here's a snapshot of 4.25 years of internet time, and a reflection of what I've found interesting at the time. Note that the following indicates when I bookmarked something, not when it was actually published.

Bookmarked in 2000 — Starting 22 October

Essentials

Gurus

Skills & principles

Fun/weird

Bookmarked in 2001

Trends

2001 was marked by lots of negativity and cynicism.

Strangely, nothing bookmarked about 9/11. Although I did start blogging in the same month, only to abandon blogging in late 2003.

Gurus

Skills & principles

Fun/weird

Bookmarked in 2002

Trends

Gurus

Skills

Fun/weird

Bookmarked in 2003

Trends / significant sites

  • Samuel Pepys 17th-century diary relaunched as a blog, gaining massive press coverage and probably doing a lot to popularise the word blog.
  • February 2003 – BBC News redesigned. For a reminder of how it used to look, see the BBC article about the Pepys diary above.
  • Who owns the alphabet? – according to Google
  • ADSL Guide – Shopping around for DSL (finally got it on 30 March '03 – has it been that long?)
  • April 2003 – a wonderful trip to Japan
  • Sitepoint – Excellent web design magazine relaunches with pure CSS/XHTML design – arguably taking the mantle from Alistapart
  • All blogs start sporting flock wallpaper
  • Looking into photo album sites: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. – all to become irrelevant in a year's time with Flickr
  • A plan for spam, by Paul Graham – Written in 2002, bookmarked in 2003, software using this method (Bayesian filtering) now saves me from hundreds of spams a week
  • Karova – the first accessible e-com engine

Skills / work

Weird / fun / art

Bookmarked in 2004

Trends / events / significant sites
Skills / work
Weird / art / fun

Bookmarking tips

I strongly advise anyone whose life/career involves the internet somehow to use a keyword-based bookmark manager. As long as you cultivate a habit of bookmarking anything you've found interesting, you have the equivalent of a perfect memory, if you ever want to find something again. (Google is very useful in this respect, but not infallible.) Powermarks is wonderful, for 3 key reasons:

  1. Bookmarks are tagged with keywords, rather than filed hierachically (like the default browser bookmarks system). This way, you can easily find a needle in a haystack of 5000 bookmarks.
  2. Bookmarks are synchronised to a server on the internet , so I contribute to the same bookmarks database whether I'm at work or at home.
  3. Fast "find as you type" search interface

However, Powermarks is no longer your only option. Del.icio.us is a free internet-based service that offers (1) and (2) above, and has the additional advantage of being a "social" system, so you can see what others are bookmarking, and who has similar interests to you. I'm still wishing somebody would write a utility that'll allow me to synchronise Powermarks with a del.icio.us account. And while it's at it, simultaneously save them permanently on Furl, and locally using WWWoffle.