Looking for remote bookmark management across several PCs
December 11, 2003 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Now that I have a Real Job, I'm stuck working between two home computers and two work computers, all Windows systems. Bookmark management has become a nightmare. I'm looking for some sort of remote management system where I can combine all my bookmarks and manage them in my webspace, so I can access them from anywhere. I'm up to about 1500 categorized bookmarks, so a mostly automated system would obviously be preferential. Any ideas?
posted by monju_bosatsu to Computers & Internet (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
there was a textad on Metafilter for something like that... not sure if it's still there.... someone help me out with the name
posted by banished at 9:15 AM on December 11, 2003

Tagging this thread in case something turns up -- I've been looking forever.
posted by Aaorn at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2003

I wish DeepLeap hadn't gone into deep-sleep. You could try exporting your bookmarks as HTML, and then try importing them into an XML file or a database.
posted by riffola at 9:20 AM on December 11, 2003

I'll be writing a web-based bookmark manager next month. I haven't even thought about a feature set yet. If people can't find anything acceptable out there right now, just post your feature wishlist here and I'll build it.

Seriously. I can host it at mfdistilled.com and also release the code for people who want to host it themselves.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:40 AM on December 11, 2003

I've also looked for something similar.... one of the biggest features that I want that doesn't seem to be available yet is to have xml pages generated for the bookmarks, as well asthe categories.... so that way you could use your bookmarks list as a "blogrolling" type application- just pull in the xml file of your bookmarks.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 9:43 AM on December 11, 2003

There are some tools on Freshmeat that may be helpful.
posted by Galvatron at 9:45 AM on December 11, 2003

bookmarks.yahoo.com may meet your needs until you find something better. It gives instruction to import your bookmarks from explorer or mozilla/netscape. (Note: The link above will take you a page asking you to resister or login with yahoo in order to use their bookmarks service.)
posted by Quinn at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2003

I have been looking for a long time, too. I have ended up using Yahoo! Bookmarks, and since I'm not great fan of Yahoo! these days I would like to use something else. During the Boom there were a few of bookmark management sites, but all that is left is Backflip, now run by volunteers, and the functionality isn't there for me and I worry about stability. I would really like to see something in this area! Bookmarks.Metafilter.com?
posted by tranquileye at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2003

there is also my Linky, which makes use of bookmarklets. Problem with that is that you have to visit their webpage to get the bookmarks, rather than having them dynamically imported to a local list.

Yahoo bookmarks, coupled with the yahoo toolbar use to be great, until they started pushing ads to the toolbar, which made me uninstall it immediatly.

I am waiting for someone to write a mozilla extension that will take up the slack. Even if it just updated a list stored on your own webspace, that would be great. XML would be an ideal way to manage it, and setting it to sync to a list on a toolbar would make it head and shoulders above anything else out there right now.
posted by Hackworth at 9:53 AM on December 11, 2003

Even if it just updated a list stored on your own webspace, that would be great.

Seems like this does just that.
posted by yerfatma at 10:02 AM on December 11, 2003

I use Yahoo's Companion Toolbar at both home and work to share bookmarks.
posted by kgatdula at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2003

Well, I've thought about doing something like this for a long while. I've come up with two radically different designs:
  • A scriptable desktop proxy (preferrably in Python). Basically a Web proxy that will do all the usual pop-up blocking, ad-cleaning stuff, but will also keep track of URLs visited and have an easy local-web interface for bookmarking and management. Of course since it will essentially double as an HTTP server, it could easily sync itself with a remote machine (either another machine, such as a Work PC or a central server somewhere).

  • A centralized web-app that does bookmark management, automatic categorization, peer recommendations etc. Much closer to StumbleUpon, etc.

  • The second design led me to do news classification, etc, which led to memigo, my newsbot to end all newsbots. I ended up focusing on news instead of bookmarks, but I do have massive amounts of code I could contribute to such a project.

    Having said the above, the first design is my favorite and is potentially expandable to talking to a central memigo-like server. A proxy lets you do way more interesting things, like figure out automatically what your favorite sites are even w/o bookmarking, use text classification or web directories (like the Open Directory) to automatically categorize favorites, create Palm versions of web pages (using Plucker, also Python-based). Only problem is I have no time to code such a thing; I have done some research though and I could put up a memigo-clone for central syncing and categorization if y'all want.
    posted by costas at 10:09 AM on December 11, 2003

    I've used backflip and yahoo for the features, but they both seemed so mired in ads and feature BS that I was soured on it.

    There's a cool server-side perl program called b.. I used it for a few months to share bookmarks between locations and machines. It's totally customizable, you can make it public or private, and there are js bookmarklets to make adding sites easy.
    posted by mathowie at 10:19 AM on December 11, 2003

    My problem with the booksync or some other desktop solution is that I don't have access to FTP from my work, and many applications that access the web can't get through the proxy for some reason.
    posted by TuxHeDoh at 10:22 AM on December 11, 2003

    I use Yahoo's stuff primarily, but I've also set up a MT based sidebar on my site that I've coded to open in the search companion in IE.

    In essence, I blog the links like like (or don't have time to read) by category that I can open in the search pane at a later date - low tech and open to anyone to view (unless you spend some more time securing it), but I like it. Best yet, it allows you to add additional keywords, or enable comments... and it's search-able.

    On preview... I'm going to go look at b. it looks kinda interesting too.
    posted by KnitWit at 10:38 AM on December 11, 2003

    What could you possibly need 1500 bookmarks for? Sounds like you need to spend some time organizing. :)

    You might also want to look into a web-based RSS aggregator. I recently started using Bloglines. And now I never use the bookmarks for the sites that Bloglines checks. If there's something new, I'll know about it. It's changed the way I use the web.
    posted by elvissinatra at 11:00 AM on December 11, 2003

    I never used it myself, but I remember netscape having roaming profile back in the day. Not that you'd want to use a pre-mozilla netscape nowadays, but I'm sure the work has been
    continued, perhaps in an extension like yerfatmama linked.
    posted by fvw at 11:07 AM on December 11, 2003

    I used to use B. (it rocks), but then I decided to write my own: FarFetch.

    It's free, it's fairly easy to use, and if there's any features you're dying to have, email me and I'll see what I can do.
    posted by bshort at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2003

    Response by poster: To follow up on fvw's point, a little googling shows that roaming is currently being worked on and may be implemented soon in Mozilla. See also here for a similar discussion.
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:22 AM on December 11, 2003

    This seems really cool, although I haven't seen one in action yet (it purports to "couple the popularity of USB flash storage devices with advanced synchronization and data management software"). Does anybody have one?
    posted by ajr at 11:43 AM on December 11, 2003

    I want something similar, but also I want it to organize them into a web page. This (self-link) is what I want. I do it manually with a wiki right now, but an automated tool would be excellent. Firebird/Mozilla is my browser of choice. And I'd like to be able to run it myself, for peace of mind if nothing else.
    posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM on December 11, 2003

    I used to just run Netscape roaming profiles, but those stopped working properly years ago.

    Now I just pop over to DeepLeap and... oh. Damn. No I don't.

    The solution I initially used was to expose my bookmarks file at home to the web (on the assumption that "work" bookmarks weren't terribly useful at home), with a little cron job that built a portally-looking site out of the thing. That eventually turned into a weblog-like-thing, which I subsequently decided oughtn't be using a Netscape-format bookmarks file as its back end, and decided not to rebuild when my disk array crashed.

    So now I just email interesting links to myself.
    posted by majick at 12:40 PM on December 11, 2003

    Best answer: I'm surprised no one has mentioned del.icio.us.
    posted by beth at 1:07 PM on December 11, 2003

    I mentioned this in some MetaTalk thread a while ago, but a friend of mine build a little web-based favorites store. You have to do some copy-paste action to get the info in there, but it's fast and handy as hell. I've been using it as my homepage for quite some time. Your links overflow in up to four columns, so no links get hidden in some nesting nightmare. Learn more here: [friend-of-self link].
    posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 2:57 PM on December 11, 2003

    del.icio.us is awesome, try it out and you will be converted.
    posted by gen at 4:08 PM on December 11, 2003

    The problem with del.icio.us is it's not private. You can even see someone else's inbox.
    posted by riffola at 4:22 PM on December 11, 2003

    Response by poster: Is there some way to import and export from del.icio.us? It's pretty sweet, but without the ability to import, it's not worth much for my immediate goal. It's a great barebones collaborative weblog, though.
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:53 PM on December 11, 2003

    Best answer: monju-san, I export out to del.icio.us via RSS and feed

    If you check my del.icio.us feed and the my weblog, you can see that the two are synced up via feedreader and the RSS feed that del.icio.us creates automagically. It is a lot more than a collaborative weblog, imo. You can search via person, via meta tag, via date, and the exportability is just awesome.

    I hear that Jeff Veen will be releasing some simple perl scripts for you to do this quickly within the body of your blog, should you want to do that.
    posted by gen at 5:30 PM on December 11, 2003

    What about something like MySQLinks?

    Categories, bookmarklet and decent administration section. I've integrated one into a Movable Type weblog with no problems at all, but it works fine free standing.

    There are some speed issues related to caching the recently updated XML (being worked on) but overall I'm pleased with the results.
    posted by cedar at 6:58 PM on December 11, 2003

    Response by poster: Thanks for all the advice, I now have a ton of options to choose from. [O/T: I can't believe how fast this scrolled off the front page! This is why we need categories for AskMe.]
    posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:28 AM on December 12, 2003

    I found this. Dunno if it's good or not, but it looks like it's precisely what you're looking for.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:59 AM on December 12, 2003

    PowerMarks.com has exactly what you want. I've used this for years and it is the coolest thing ever.
    posted by Tubes at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2003

    « Older How can we keep our cats from fighting?   |   Where can I find a good (eggless) apple pie in NYC... Newer »
    This thread is closed to new comments.