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Friday, October 28, 2005

On the Spate of Social Bookmarking Sites

The always-interesting TechCrunch blog has a profile of Shadows, yet another social bookmarking service that's getting rave reviews. Except this one is different (honest!) because it creates what it calls "shadows."

A shadow is a "collection of metadata gathered from user bookmarks." I would explain more, but just know that it combines bookmarks, tagging, community and all kinds of other buzzwords.

Call me cynical, but it seems that every new player in this space is sort of the same, but different.

It's exciting to see all the innovation in the Web 2.0 world we live in, but let's all be realistic. Most of these startups are solutions looking for a problem. I agree that managing browser bookmarks is very tough when you're a regular web user. There has been virtually zero innovation in bookmark management in the past five yeras, and perhaps the time is coming when we'll have viable options to manage our bookmarks.

But the only solution that will work is one that integrates tightly with the browser. Not a toolbar, not an add-on, not a standalone site, but a complete solution that fits the browser like a glove.

So far, the only thing I see that comes close is Flock.

Flock is essentially Firefox with other goodies, and my test drive so far says to me that Flock has a future if it plays its cards right.

With Flock you can view your recently added favorites, frequently visited favorites, view favorites by tags... you get the picture. I think this feature alone may be what causes many users to make the switch.

So, good luck Shadows. I hope you don't end up fading into them.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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