The Strange Death of Bookmarks?

Seriously – I realised earlier today that I hardly ever use the Bookmarks folder in my browser these days, except for the handful I keep in the quick find tab straight above the browser screen and an even smaller handful of others. I’m far more likely to go to the Google bar and look for websites that way. For blogs, I mostly use my own blogroll, and for research-related stuff I’ll probably start by searching EMR. (What’s the point of having a website if you don’t use it?)

It’s funny how your computer use can gradually be transformed without you really being aware of it. In the B. F. (Before Firefox/Before Feeds) era, just three or four years ago, I relied heavily on my IE Favourites folder. I hardly ever add anything new these days, but I still have hundreds of links in my FF Bookmarks folder going back years (I’ve always kept transferring my old bookmarks across to new browsers and new computers, out of habit). Half of them are probably dead. (There’s an entire folder of blogs from around spring 2004, most of which are by now part of the ancient history – and legends, in some cases – of the blogosphere.) When I first hosted a carnival, I put all the interesting posts I found in a bookmarks folder. Now I just right-click and ‘Send Link’ on the page and email it to myself.

What changes in other readers’ internet habits in the last couple of years have crept up on you without you even noticing?

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6 Responses to The Strange Death of Bookmarks?

  1. I used to use bookmarks and blogrolls pretty heavily, but ended up using the history auto-complete function (I use Netscape, if that matters) almost exclusively. (For reasons I don’t understand, my Netscape clears its history now, so I’ve had to go back to bookmarking things to keep them accessible and it’s quite annoying.)

  2. Sharon says:

    If you mean what I think you mean, yes I use that quite a bit too. You start typing in the address bar and it brings up all the recent addresses that start with the same letters? Very handy. But it will only last as long as your History settings, so maybe you need to check in your Preferences (in Firefox it’s under the ‘Privacy’ tab, not totally intuitive) to see if something has got changed when you weren’t looking.

    It’s also possible that you unintentionally cleared the browsing history – Firefox’s ‘Clear Private Data’ facility by default ticks the box to clear all sorts of stuff (including autocompletion of forms) – you can lose a lot of useful browsing info when all you wanted to do was clear the cache. But it should build up again as you visit sites – if it doesn’t, you might need to upgrade/re-install/change browser…

  3. Jeremy says:

    The only thing I used my browser’s bookmarks folder for is 1) CHNM projects I’m working on, and want to get to quickly, and 2) websites and projects I have on my laptops webserver. Anything I want to come back to that’s on the web, I tag it in my account.

    Social bookmarking has definitely changed my browsing and archiving habits. I love looking through and Ma.gnolia to see what others are tagging, what’s popular, et cetera. Tagging as well. I tried, a long time ago, to do the whole structured bookmarks folder with subfolders, trying my best to make it as organized as possible. But with, I don’t have to think about that. I just tag it with whatever I think is appropriate. I don’t have to worry about organization. And, 99% of the time, I can find any site even if I only have a vague recollection of how I tagged it.

    RSS has also affected how I want to receive content. I can’t begin to count how many websites I’ve visited and said to myself “Gee, I wish this site had an RSS feed.” I often forget about sites that don’t have RSS.

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  5. peacay says:

    delicious ushered in a big change for me. My ff browser is almost exclusively devoted to ‘interim’ material/sites/whatever. Either they’ll make it to delicious (or to my blog actually) or they’ll be chucked, once I’ve had a better look. But I still use some browser perma-bookmarks each time I power up. blog/email/bloglines/delicious/technorati/metafilter get auto-loaded from a single click. rss is a wonderful memory saving phenomenon or it’s an evil monster that manages to make ‘too much information’ look like a sissy expression – I change my mind about which it is daily.

    [and in ref. to the above entry – I totally agree about the ‘not another bloody password’ sentiment re: facebook. They don’t want my custom. Fullstop.]

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