Saturday, September 07, 2013

More than a Bookmarking App

I always wanted a better bookmarking app, a better version of Delicious, and I wonder what could it be.


Old Delicious

The first bookmark app that got me excited is Delicious, where I could see how many people bookmarked the same link as I am. At the time I was using it, Delicious doesn’t even have a browser plugin to easily bookmark a page, where I have to visit Delicious page to add a link (much like HN), but it’s already wildly popular. Delicious has a few goodies:

  • Store bookmark on Internet (before the age of Cloud and Syncing), so we wouldn’t lost all the precious links when the computer fail.
  • Number of people who bookmarked the same link is a vote which signal the “authority or importance” of the link (much like submission and up-voting by HN or Digg)
  • The tagging might be chaotic, but it does allow browsing for import links for a specific category.
  • The front page shows hot links, which is good for reading and browsing (much like HN)

New Declicious

The new Delicious didn’t show hot links unless I signup. They didn’t show the number of people who bookmarked the link in the listing, unless I link on the link for detail.

The hot tags are Egypt, breakingbad, redskins, Olympics, recipes, which didn’t interest me. I realize the early communities of Delicious are techies, thus I found the links relevant. Now Delicious is like Reddit (cover everything from gossips to politics), where I wish it was like HN.

The bookmarking features work quite flawlessly, yet I am still not happy (perhaps I am looking for more than just a bookmarking app). I can follow people and find out what link they bookmarked.

Somehow the new Delicious just didn’t feel the same anymore; perhaps the expectations had changed since I last used it 10 years ago, perhaps the community behind it isn’t the same anymore.


Kippt used to be simple bookmarking tool, until they decided to pivot into something called “make your information workflow and archiving effortless.” which I didn’t get it. It annoys me once in a while by prompting their “social” following feature. I don’t object to the feature, but I don’t link to be interrupted by opening the kippt page when I try to bookmark a page.

Chrome Bookmark

Isn’t chrome bookmark good enough? It is fast and simple, and sync seamlessly with mobile devices. Somehow I never quite used it, unless on mobile devices, because it require much more effort to bookmark on mobile browsers using third party tools.

Perhaps it lacks a webpage I could browse my links (Google Bookmark doesn’t seems to integrate with Chrome Bookmark), or perhaps I miss the social and hot links discovery part of Delicious.


An important aspect of the Old Delicious is the “social” side, or more precisely the discovery of hot links which interest me, which I would end up bookmarking it.


In a certain sense, Digg as a news aggregator site have the discovery side of bookmarking app like Delicious, where we could see hot and trending links on the FrontPage. Why I didn’t use Digg anymore? The techies had left, and the gossips and entertainment had taken over.


I never joined Reddit because the hot links on the front page didn’t interest me. I read somewhere the essence of Reddit nowadays is in the subreddit (focus topics) due to its grown size. I just added the subreddit into my feed reader.

Hacker News

I use Hacker News actively, because it has quality links thanks to the techie community (felt a bit like the Old Delicious, without the fancy features of tagging and bookmarking).

Lesson Learned: In order to discover the things you like, you need to attract the right crowd.

PS: as much as I like Hacker News, it's still very much a niche as compared to Reddit

Feed Reader

I like Google Feed Reader, where it had the social aspect of following my favorite blogs, and I get to discover good reads from time to time. Nowadays I used Feedly, it works well.

Not Just Bookmarking anymore

I thought I wanted a simple bookmarking tool, but it isn’t that simple anymore. I wanted a tool which keeps my favorite links and help me discover new favorite links (and find useful resource page).

  • A simple tool for quick bookmarking, accessible from anywhere.
  • Discovery of hot links like Old Delicious, Hacker News (need to attract the right community)
  • Follow my favorite blogs, writer, and topics like a feed reader.
  • Group similar links together to provide useful information for a specific topic. E.g. tagging, subreddit, Wikipedia page, etc. In a certain sense is like people keep a page to list relevant resources, e.g. Resources for Android Development, Best IDE for Python, etc.

I always thought of building a “better” bookmarking app, and now I realize I actually wanted a Delicious + Hacker News + Google Reader + Wikipedia.

PS: a quick google on "Bookmarking Tool" yield little meaningful results, perhaps it's not something people care about these days.

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