Now, I realize that not everyone manages multiple social bookmark accounts. But I know some of you do. You’ve got two or three Delicious accounts. Maybe one for personal stuff and one for the blog. Or maybe you had to add another account when you resurrected your Ma.gnolia links. Whatever the case, managing those multiple accounts can get to be a bit of a headache.
And even if you don’t have multiple accounts, there are issues. Like having tons of bookmarks through which to search. Surely that could be made a tad easier?
We’ve all been there. There’s that one article that you need to remember to read. You simply don’t have time to read it, right now. And you’re not sure if you’re going to want it after you’re done reading it.
In short, you can’t commit to saving it to your bookmarks because you’re not sure if it’s bookmark material, yet.
Currently, I have a system set up in Evernote that involves a lot of clipping and organizing—and then reading and deleting—to manage my list of “read this later.” Honestly, it takes a bit of effort to simply remind myself to go back and read a particular page. And the Evernote saving process has a couple of steps to it.
I saw I Need to Read This demoed at a recent Portland Web Innovators Demolicious, and I was blown away by how drop dead simple—and incredibly effective—the tool could be.
I Need to Read This is about as simple as you can get. Just register (either with a username and password or with OpenID) and add a I Need to Read This bookmarklet to you Web browser toolbar. That means it works for any browser—unlike a Firefox add-in (and since I generally run Camino, I’m addicted to bookmarklets).
The next time you’re browsing content and you come across a page you need to read? Simply click the bookmarklet and the page will be added to your list things you need to read.
Have a free minute to catch up on your reading? There’s another bookmarklet that will take you to the first item on your list of things to read.
What’s nice about I Need to Read This is that you can use all of its services through bookmarklets instead of having to install anything in your browser. There’s simply “I Need to Read This” and “Read an Article” bookmarklets, which you drag up to your browser’s toolbar, and on any story you want to bookmark you just hit the former bookmarklet to save it. Then, to read what you have saved you click the latter “Read an Article” button, which takes you to the latest story. Clicking it again takes you to the second most recent, and so on.
We love the previously mentioned Read It Later Firefox extension, which offers a simple method for saving bookmarks to read later. The I Need to Read This bookmarklet offers similar functionality without the extension dependence.
[Full disclosure: Iterasi is a client of mine. I was aware of this feature under development, but I was not involved in this release. Quite frankly, it took me by surprise. But it makes sense that they’re pushing it while they’re down at the TechCrunch 50.]
Okay. That may be a little hyperbolic, but there’s a lot of truth to that.
With social bookmarking, I was able to save site locations, tag them in a meaningful way, and get to them from any browser with an Internet connection.
It may not seem like a big deal now. But back then? It was “You mean my bookmarks aren’t beholden to this one browser on this one machine? Oh my. Very cool.”
But my bookmarks always suffered from a problem that I couldn’t solve with just a link.
And that was? Well, sometimes the page just changed. The story or the thing I thought was important or—worst of all—the cool design that I wanted to rip-off save for inspiration.
Screenshots were a workaround. But they were never really what I wanted.
What I wanted was to save the page.
Fast forward to today.
I’m sitting on a ton of bookmarks. I use social bookmarking sites like ma.gnolia and del.icio.us every day, if not several times a day. They have become so much a part of the way that I use the Web—and the way that I share and glean information from others—that social bookmarking would be an incredibly hard habit to break.
But I still worry about losing the page I actually wanted.
Well, now, that problem is solved thanks to still just barely Vancouver-based and ever-so-close to being Portland-based Iterasi and their new “import bookmarks” feature:
This feature imports bookmarks from Firefox, Internet Explorer, del.icio.us and/or from any app that exports to the standard bookmark export format. So you tell it where your bookmarks are, we import them and make permanent copies of the pages the bookmarks point to. No more lost articles. No more link rot. No more Error 404s. But we don’t just import them. Import Bookmarks is built on top of the iterasi Scheduler – released last month – so one-by-one you can choose to archive each bookmark once, every day, week or month, or not a all.
Now, granted, that’s not going to do much for the links that have already aged. But from now on? I can be sure that I’ll have exactly the page I wanted to save.
Saving bookmarked pages in Iterasi is great, but not using Iterasi is even better
As excited as I am about this feature to extend the use of Iterasi, there’s one thing I’m even more excited about: not having to use Iterasi.
Huh? Stick with me here.
I’ve developed a workflow for saving links and—as chagrin as I am to admit it—Iterasi isn’t part of that workflow.
It’s an afterthought. A habit I’m trying to force.
But with this feature? That problem is solved, too.
Now that Iterasi can import bookmarks, I can work in my preferred social bookmarking tool and still have Iterasi saving the pages for me.
I can fly around willy nilly tagging things in del.icio.us or saving them to the Silicon Florist group on ma.gnolia. All the while, knowing that I can bring those over to Iterasi to make an archived copy.
And that’s pretty cool.
I can work where I’m comfortable working without losing the ability to save things I really want to save. And that makes this new import bookmarks feature very powerful indeed.
The feature, however, does come with a caveat:
If you have lots of bookmarks, it is best to schedule it to run when you are away from your computer. Think about it; we are feeding dozens and dozens of bookmarks down to the browser who is one-at-a-time loading, notarizing, and shipping each up to your account. In other words, we are torturing the poor browser. As you might expect, the browser can lock up under this kind of load. We find this situation to be unavoidable.