At the end of November I finally decided to revive my del.icio.us account. I figured the winter break would be a good time to get everything organized and figure out a way to integrate my Google Reader shared or starred items into it, or possibly my Tumblr. I wanted this kind of functionality because, though Tumblr is great for ephemerality, I hate its search function. And Google Reader is good for searchability, but the tagging bothered me and not everything really fits that kind of reverse chronological format. If I want to read that thing I read about Benford’s Law, I don’t care when I posted it. A bookmark service is what I wanted and del.icio.us was a bookmark service.
This desire hung around and hung around but I didn’t get any further than ruling out some of the alternatives. Then I read (on Warren Ellis’ blog first but then everywhere) that del.icio.us was shutting down. So I went looking for an alternative. It bothered me to no end that Google Bookmarks are so terrible at integrating with both Chrome and Google Reader. Come on people. Eventually, through LittleBig found Pinboard.
Pinboard is a bookmark manager that’s very similar to del.icio.us. Here’s my stuff (beware that the dates on when everything was bookmarked can be wildly inaccurate, since I imported a whole whack of everything over from my browser and other places at once). You can tag things, have rss feeds of your bookmarks, sort things by their tags, all that stuff. There are also simple options for making tags private, and marking bookmarks as unread. Fine and dandy. But, and this is the killer thing for me, it’ll monitor your Google Reader shared items and import them as bookmarks. Sadly, it doesn’t import the tags from Google Reader, so I have to go through those untagged items every couple of days to get them organized. I’m a nerd who doesn’t mind doing that though, so it’s not a deal-breaker for me. The other thing I just flipped the switch on is Twitter archiving, which might be a good idea since I’m so damned interesting on Twitter (warning: my Twitterfeed is very boring).
One of the big sticking points about Pinboard is the cost. There’s a fee to sign up, based on the number of people using it. The idea is that’s how it keeps itself free of spammers, and the earlier you join, the less you pay. If you read the LittleBig post you saw that in December Pinboard made itself freely available to librarians and library school students, which was pretty sweet. Only $9 but it was a great Xmas present from a stranger.
At this point I’d recommend Pinboard pretty unreservedly, but I’m using it for free. If it would also monitor Tumblrs and import those as bookmarks, or just keep the Google Reader tags when it brought things over, I would call it a must have. If you like keeping track of the things you read on the internet, that is.