Saturday, October 6, 2007

So many bookmarks, so little time...

Up until recently, I had about 1600 Firefox bookmarks. I used them mainly for keeping up with my reading for sites where an RSS feed isn't suitable. I've been looking for the perfect bookmarks application for a long time (still haven't found it!) and finally settled on two online bookmarking services to replace my Firefox bookmarks completely.

After much testing of various services I settled on Google Bookmarks for my work/technology related bookmarks, and del.icio.us for my private bookmarks. I can't remember why I decided on these exactly (one of the reasons I now blog about these things), though multiple-tags per bookmark was one criterion, and which others I also tested (though Simpy was one of them), but this post isn't about that anyway.

This post is about searching my bookmarks.

Google Bookmarks isn't a terribly exciting thing, but they do allow one to search bookmarked sites for things - not just search the bookmark's details (url, title, comment etc), but the site it points to as well. (This confused me completely the first time I searched my bookmarks! I didn't know it did that!) This comes in handy if you know for a fact you bookmarked something but can't find it by searching the bookmark details.

But wait, you say, there's tags! Yes, but what if this is something you've only started tagging for recently and your older bookmarks weren't tagged for that concept?

So that's all great with my Google Bookmarks, but what about my private ones over at del.icio.us? That bookmarked-site search facility would come in even more handy for the bookmarks I have there. I was contemplating importing those bookmarks into a separate account at Google Bookmarks just for this feature - which would've been a pain, having to swap logins all the time - when I came across an article about the deliGoo Firefox extension.

This little extension installs a button in your Firefox Toolbar which, when clicked on, opens a new tab/window where you enter the username, tag (optional) and search-string you want to find. The first time you run this, it takes a while to build your search engine. The next search promises to be a lot quicker.

The results are returned, looking exactly like the results of a Google search (it's a Google Custom Search, after all). Note that if you're searching your own bookmarks, it will also search your private bookmarks (not just your public/shared ones). The results also include hits from any pages in the domain, not just the particular page of the site that you've bookmarked. Now, if only those results would contain my del.icio.us tags...

This would almost do away with any need to tag my bookmarks,  if I didn't have such a thing for them. (Ooh! Look! I just found a site amongst my older bookmarks to tag with my new tag!)

deliGoo is available both as a Firefox extension and an Internet Explorer add-on.

1 comment:

ashamel said...

But do you _use_ all those bookmarks?

Oh wait, silly question.

(I have almost stopped bookmarking entirely, and just do a google search to look for stuff.)