Social Bookmarking and Walled Gardens

Post ImageBefore the current explosion of social bookmarking sites I became a total del.icio.us fan. It was among the first sites to have the funky URI, it has a very simple and extremely clean interface, and it makes me feel like I am in control. Overall, I have been very happy with it, and I have around 760 items in my bookmarks right now.

I still get the urge to try out some of the other sites though! I never end up taking the plunge however, and I think it’s because I already have so many links in del.icio.us. If there was an extremely easy way to import/export between the services that would be sweet, I’d have no problems! Unfortunately, there isn’t. I mean I could probably write a script that loads everything in del.icio.us and adds it to whatever service I am trying, but that’s not really feasible. I like to code, but I don’t have that kind of time! And yes, testing a new service with all of my existing bookmarks in there is important! If I am going to switch, it had better handle what I already have very well.

I don’t think this problem is limited to social bookmarking either. It’s not like you can export your photos from Flickr to another site with anything close to what I would call “relative ease”. I understand that it would take a lot of work on the part of the development teams to make it a reality, but we aren’t really in an open Web 2.0 world until it happens. And if it’s not going to happen, it would be better if I hosted my own bookmarks and published a standard API that services like del.icio.us could tap into – Web 3.0 maybe 😉

With all the recent talk about demolishing the so-called “wall gardens” of the past, I can’t help but think it’s all a farce.

3 thoughts on “Social Bookmarking and Walled Gardens

  1. Thanks Tim, yep I know that feature exists. The problem is more for importing! Is there a standard format like RSS or OPML or something that the different websites share? I see del.icio.us exports to a format for browsers.

    I notice too that the del.icio.us importing feature currently is disabled.

  2. I guess the ideal scenario for a user is as follows:

    1. User visits a new site
    2. Prompted to enter del.icio.us username
    3. Now has the exact same data at both locations!
    4. Possibly setup scheduled synchronization

    If each site imports/exports with different formats or datasets however, this scenario is not really feasible.

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