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March 11, 2017 7:34 PM   Subscribe

Are there any free web hosting options to store links and reading materials and organize them, if so any recommendations?

I was originally going to try to create a discussion forum and looking at free forum hosting which there are a lot of options, but I realized I have no idea if anyone will want to discuss any of this and largely I just have thousands of links that I find it hard to sort through and find and I don't find the favorite feature on my computer easy to organize because I want to look at all the categories and see it organized. I basically want to organize by topic such as health research, environmental action groups, local non-profits, and essentially create a usable directory that can be browsed easily (like you can see everything at once) and create strategies using that information to achieve positive step by step results. I'd like to be able to add to each section and subsection over time.

I can use a forum for this, but if there were websites that allow it I might like to see options other than forums. I don't even know if there is such a thing or what search terms I might use to find them. If you know of anything let me know, thank you.
posted by xarnop to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
You could use Zotero for this.
posted by unknowncommand at 8:13 PM on March 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Pinboard or Instapaper. They both allow you to tag, which is very powerful.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:13 PM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

There are a bunch of apps that allow you store and tag information. I use Pocket to save articles to read later, I like that it's streamlined (fast bookmarklets from my browser or the "share" option on my phone) and I can read articles offline on my phone.

However, it sounds like you want multiple levels of organization (folders, subfolders, sub-subfolders etc) so you might be better looking for an outliner, or perhaps an app that will let you make your own wiki, like Wikia.

Workflowy is a simple free (paid for unlimited space) online outliner that I like for the ability to capture stuff quickly, but there are many others.
posted by blu_stocking at 8:55 PM on March 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'll second Pocket. I used to have an utterly Byzantine multi-level browser bookmark collection which, ultimately, was aggravating because I couldn't relate saved links to one another in any meaningful way save for stuffing them into the same subfolder, which may or may not have been thematically appropriate. Using Pocket's metadata tags and a modicum of discipline solved my issues and I can not only get at them from anywhere, but can engage with them using tools like IFTTT to do multiple things (e.g. share, save into Evernote, tweet) simply by adding the trigger tag(s) I've set up.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:07 AM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

2nding Pinboard. You can assign tags any way you want and decide whether to keep stuff public or private. You can use tag bundles for better organization. Plus there's a premium archiving feature, so you can save whole articles/posts, not just links to them.
posted by gakiko at 5:23 AM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by Miko at 5:41 AM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use Pocket personally, but this sounds like a job for Pinboard. Incidentally, Pinboard is owned and operated by a MeFite, maciej.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:45 AM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

There are various categories of tool you could use, depending both on the nature of the "reading material" that you want to organise, and what form of organisation seems natural to you:
  • if it is mostly published documents (e.g. academic papers), a reference maanger like Zotero could work well
  • if it is links to websites, a social bookmarking website could work: Pinboard is indeed probably the best choice
  • for visual things, software that manages collections of images (e.g., or perhaps Pinterest) could work well
  • you might find it helpful to organise things in a mindmap (e.g. mindnode)
  • you could use forum software, even if no-one else uses it. Edward Tufte has a forum forum on his site that is now largely a apersonal notebook/scrapbook, though others can post (moderated) replies. Alternatively, you could have a personal wiki (or note software with a web interface, such as evernote, or a self-hosted copy of one its clones, like Laverna or Paperwork).
Personally, I moved from away from social bookmarking, because I realised that something like a pesonal wiki suited me better and let me store additioanlly information: I group lists of links onto notes/pages, provide some additional structure with subsections, and add quotations from text, screenshots, or an explanation what the site is and why I thought it was interesting.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 7:40 AM on March 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thank for these answers this was incredibly helpful!!!
posted by xarnop at 5:33 PM on March 12, 2017

I use Zotero for academic stuff and Pocket for things I want to read later.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:59 PM on March 13, 2017

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