Where Have All the Bookmarks Gone?

In years gone past I had an extensive collection of bookmarks (aka favorites), stored links to a variety of pages and websites all over the internet. They were hard-won spoils from the search for useful information and I looked after them, backing them up and carefully moving them across whenever I got a new PC.

These days? These days I don’t even use them and my carefully maintained collection is lost amongst the digital detritus somewhere on my storage server. So far I’ve managed to come up with the following list of reasons (technological and behavourial) that caused this change.

  • Domain names are easier to remember (there’s a general consensus on the grammar and patterns of domain name choice) and because I use them so much I’m better at remembering them. It reminds me of how I used to be very good at remembering phone numbers because I used them so much, but then I lost that ability when I started storing them in my mobile phone.
  • I recently spent 8 months travelling around Central America without a laptop. Internet usage was reserved for internet cafes so I just got in the habit of not having my bookmarks available (I never got into using any of the sites that store your bookmarks for you).
  • Searching on Google is a good substitute. Don’t bother remembering the site, just google for the relevant search terms and there it is.
  • I use an RSS aggregator (a fancy term for website reader). This not only makes it easier to keep track of news from multiple sites, it also means I don’t have to enter their URLs.
  • My web browser remembers the names of sites I visit a lot so I only have to type in the first few letters and then choose the relevant site from the drop-down list.

Of course, there is one exception to my rejection of bookmarks, and that’s my mobile phone. Using a standard phone keypad to laboriously type in long URLs is definitely something you try and avoid!