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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Bookmarking tools are handy way to save a website for later

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sometimes, you run across something on the web that you want to save for later. It's the nature of the beast -- maybe you're in the middle of something, or maybe you're at work and someone tells you about something silly that you want to watch at home on your own time,

Depending on how often, how many, and what kind of links you want to stack up for future reading, are a number of services that can facilitate this process.

Delicious (delicious.com) is one of the original bookmarking services. It originally had the somewhat-too-clever address of del.icio.us, but after it was purchased by Yahoo! the new owners decided to streamline things a bit. It's a web site that you use to keep track of various bookmarks. When you add a bookmark you can also add various tags to it. For example, you might tag a bookmark as "personal," "movies," "things to do," "humor," "church," or what have you. You can -- and should -- add as many different tags as are appropriate, because the tags can be useful for searching for bookmarks later.

Once you've added the bookmark, you can look it up by logging in to your Delicious account from any web-connected computer -- at home, at work, at a friend's house, at the library, or what have you.

Delicious is known as a "social bookmarking" service, because you can use it not only for keeping track of your private bookmarks but for sharing bookmarks with others. You can tell the service which of your bookmarks are private and which ones are public, and other users will be able to see your list of public bookmarks at your profile page or will be able to find individual public bookmarks by searching for them at the site. Delicious is sometimes used to share a list of links related to a presentation. For example, Leo Laporte's "This Week In Tech" podcast will bookmark links to the news stories mentioned on each week's episodes on a Delicious page keyed to the episode number, such as delicious.com/twit/266.

It was Laporte, however, who alerted me to a new Delicious competitor, one with different features which Laporte likes better (and I agree).

Pinboard (pinboard.in) "is what Delicious could have been if Yahoo hadn't neglected it. And it syncs with Delicious. I'm using it full time now," tweeted Laporte.

Pinboard also syncs with other services -- you can set it up, for example, to save a bookmark of any URL you mention in a Twitter update.

Pinboard, unlike Delicious, does charge a modest one-time fee to join -- the fee is keyed to the service's total number of users, so it will go up over time. It's less than $7 as I write this on Monday. The company says the fee helps discourage spammers from using the service. Pinboard has a more stripped-down graphic design, claims to be faster than Delicious, and includes features for downloading your most recently-bookmarked pages so that you can view them when not online. (You can increase the amount of downloadable material by upgrading to a premium account.)

Evernote (evernote.com), which I've profiled in this column before, is a note-taking service but can also be used to bookmark web site URLs.

Meanwhile, Radbox (radbox.me) is a service for assembling a viewing list of videos you've been meaning to watch. The service works with YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu and other video sites, and with some individual content sites like TED, The Daily Show and CNN. You add a "bookmarklet" button to your brower's toolbar, and then when you see a video you'd like to add to your "to do" list, you just click that button. Later, when you have time, you go to the Radbox site to watch all of the videos in one convenient place.

--John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette and covers county government. He is also the author of the self-published novel "Soapstone." His personal web site is lakeneuron.com.

John I. Carney
Loose Talk / Charge Complete
John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.