First Impressions: Pinboard Anti-social Bookmarking

July 21, 2009 · 0 comments

Recently, TechCrunch posted an article about a new, no-frills bookmarking service called Pinboard. I’ve always been a fan of delicious through the years even though I never really took advantage of its many social features. For me, it was always more of a centralized online repository for my bookmarks and eliminated the hassle of synchronizing them between multiple computers. Plus, all the “cool kids” were using it, and I didn’t want to be left out. Fast-forward to today and not much has really changed. Sure, an updated design was rolled out about a year ago, but it didn’t usher in a host of new features. Mostly, it addressed underlying architectural changes to address the site’s larger user base and give a much needed speed boost.

Delicious Bookmarks

For the most part, delicious does what I want. However, I do feel that the site’s UI is a little clunky at times, and I’ve recently found myself reaching out to new services to fill in feature-gaps. In particular, I’ve been using a service called Read It Later which serves as a temporary bookmark service. It does exactly what the name suggests; it saves bookmarks to read later and builds a reading list from bookmarked items. While it’s true that similar functionality can be achieved through delicious using a designated tag, the experience just isn’t as good. As luck would have it, this is one of the features that Pinboard currently offers. Here’s a list of its initial features:

Initial Features:

  • Keep a local snapshot of the bookmarked page
  • Optional setting to turn private bookmarks on by default.
  • Prepending a tag with a period makes it invisible to others.
  • Lightweight “to read” status for things you want to get to later
  • Gmail-like star interface for bulk operations
  • Minimalist view (no tag chevrons!)
  • Lightweight UI (load fast, render fast)

Pinboard Bookmarks

After looking at this list, it became apparent to me that Pinboard encompasses most of the features I use from both delicious and Read It Later. It’s always a plus when you can cut down on the total number of services used but still retain the same feature set. Despite the positives going for it, Pinboard isn’t for everyone. Those who love the social features of delicious will probably disappointed with Pinboard. There is no listing of popular bookmarks, bookmark inbox, or ability to subscribe to specific tag feeds. In particular, I do truly miss the delicious inbox feature. Delicious also offers an API and a plethora of 3rd party tools for managing and viewing bookmarks both of which are missing from the fledgling Pinboard service. Consequently, I find myself torn. There are things I love about Pinboard (interface, speed, read later option) and things that I miss from delicious (tag feeds, bookmark inbox, 3rd party tools). What I do know and can confidently state is that Pinboard looks like a promising new solution for managing bookmarks online. Maybe, in time, it will manage to incorporate some of the missing features from delicious while still maintaining it’s lightweight interface. It’s definitely worth consderation if you’re looking for a new way to manage your bookmarks online or are just plain bored with your existing solution.

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