How Do You Remember Sites?

from the the-death-of-the-bookmark dept

Browser bookmarks or favorites have always seemed very cumbersome to me. I used them very early on when I first got on the web, but after collecting a tremendous list I never used, I stopped completely. Now, the only “bookmarks” that I use are for bookmarklets that allow me to do something. They’re not for remembering where a page is, but to make it easier to use a service. However, bookmarks have remained in just about every browser, and finally some people are wondering if there’s a better way. These days, I tend to just use search engines, and hope that my memory is strong enough to keep track of the important things. If I know I’ve visited a page recently, I’ll use the history functionality. That’s worked out quite well for me. In some, very rare, cases I’ll post a link to a personal blog or wiki that I use for just such things. It seems like I’m not the only person to think this way. Plenty of people have ditched bookmarks altogether. Lots just use search engines, and others do things like sending themselves emails (something I’ve done at times as well). Some new technologies people are working on include a better ability to search through history files as well as “enhanced” bookmarks, that let you easily add notes about the site (though, it appears not too many people are interested in this). Not mentioned in the article, though, are sites like that are ways for people to store (and share) links they want to remember. The article also seems to ignore the fact that many people use personal blogs as a way to store links.

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Comments on “How Do You Remember Sites?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

What's so bad about Bookmarks?

I don’t understand what you find bad about them, which browser(s) are you referring to? I find Mozilla’s Personal bookmarks great, although MSIE has a better way to organise them.

I find the history functionality totally lacking – you really have to remember the URL to figure out what site you’re looking for anyway!

Personally I bookmark my favourite sites, and export my favourites to a HTML page on my web server, so I always have them with me, and can import them into any browser I please.

It’s too much hassle going through 6 million entries on a search engine for “that story about the spam”, so I don’t see how people find that better (although I’m sure techdirt would come up #1 for that search!)

Father Dan (user link) says:

Make Your Own Page Locally

I bookmark interesting sites, then every few months I add them to the html file I have stored in My Documents. My browser is set to use that local file as my home page. If I bookmark a page and dont use it again I delete it. If I find myself using it over and over then it goes to my “Homepage” – bookmarks are used on the fly, the homepage for long term.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Mike, who was/is it that was/is cataloging the web through the searches of its users?

(if I’d bookmarked the site, I’d remember)

You’d think that the benefit of contributing to their cataloging effort would be the ability to track back/search through all the sites you’d visited. Furthermore, you’d think they would tout this ability.

I use the now-hard-to-even-find “History” feature in Explorer more often than I imagined, and it has a search feature. I find that useful for recent searches, but it is only as good as your settings for how long you want your history to be (# of days, setting in IE).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Naw, I thought there was a co that put a little bot on your PC to do two things:

1. use your seraching and expertise in certain areas to allow them to rank sites based on your feedback. Implicit in this was that the sites you visit get higher rankings than the sites you neglect, so your natural filtering helps them filter for future users.

2. utilize your idle cpu & bandwidth to catalog the web

I may be combining disparate companies’ models here.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

the intelligencia are combining the 2 approaches – bookmarking a search engine query structured to likely identify the page in future (since bookmarks become obsolete
For example, bookmarking this Google search which includes a direct quote from Tueday Techdirt story on Booble likely ensures that I’ll always be able to locate it (unless Google goes under)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

I googled distributed searches and found a couple of interesting (but in no way ready for prime time) players.



Also, problem with google as bookmarker is two-fold:
– lots of sites change their policies on whether they want google or other bots crawling them for indexing. I’ve had sites like AVSforum suddenly decide to deny google and other bots and now I’ve got to remember that I found it at a certain forum and search there. PITA.

– manipulated rankings — you may not find the right link b/c others have manipulated their pages to appear above the one you want. I cannot believe how often I find a company listed on page 3 of google searches and their most aggressive retailers/distributors dominating the first two pages of listings.

KellyG says:

Re: nested bookmarks

I too use this method. It is far easier to find things if you categorize them!
I have a bookmark for work and for home. I’ve used both IE and Netscape. I’ve not been able to use Mozilla yet, but have heard it’s great.
Many people also store successful searches on their bookmarks/favorites.
I have 3 levels of bookmarks; for example News:International:BBC UK.

Of course, this is a librarian talking! 🙂

Anon says:

No Subject Given

I gave up on bookmarks a year or two ago when Opera’s history page became easier to use. I now set my history days to the max (unfortunately only 999 days…not enough!) and every now and then I save off a copy of it. It is easy to search the history page and/or think back to what else I was doing “back then”. If that fails, google or vivisimo usually does it. The other Opera feature I rely on is that I keep about 40-50 pages open in the same frame and I keep the “page tabs” toolbar open on the side, as I visit a page more and more it slowly creeps upward as I cull out pages I no longer visit–oddly enough stuff tends to cluster at the top and bottom of the list. Opera lets me set a refresh for any page and the icon on the tab show the state. Finally, I _do_ use Opera’s bookmarks, but only as a way to create aliases for stuff I visit often but don’t keep open. I use ‘mail’ for my webmail, and ‘reg’ for the Register, ‘news’ for my current favorite news page, and I will bookmark the occasional page that I know I will want to revisit but which has a useless page title or obscure URL.

I suppose that other browsers do similar things, or will, or should, I don’t really know, I’ve been a Opera user for 5-6 years and have been pretty happy with it.

Now, if only I could set this up so that every machine I work on used the same configuration and storage (and was checked into cvs every night) I’d be a lot happier.

Jim Montequin says:

Favorites Lists

Quite some time ago I began using a simple HTML document where I organized all of my commonly used web links. I use a link in the browser favorites list to quickly link to it.

The document has a hierarchical structure to better organize the links. The advantage over the web browser favorites list is the document is very small and very portable so I can carry it with me on a diskette and use it anywhere.

Like the browser favorites list it must be maintained to eliminate sites no longer of interest and update URLs.

sflummox says:

No Subject Given

I like using a notepad on to store links. You can simply type or copy the address onto the notepad and it magically becomes a clickable link. Alternatively, you can enter plain text and add a hyperlink manually (especially helpful for those long addresses). Also, you can add little notes next to the link; how often/what days a site is updated, why a particular site is (or isn’t) helpful for certain things, etc. I pretty much have onlinehomebase open all day in one window, while I surf in another.

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