I have a problem. I am addicted to new websites. I readily admit it- any time a new tool comes out I am one of the first in line to sign up for a beta test or just create an account and start playing. This may not sound like a problem, but when I’m spread so thin over the internet that I can’t remember where I saw that one thing I desperately wanted to remember, it can get a little frustrating.
Solution: Social Bookmarking sites. Sites like Reddit, Pinterest, and Diigo have become wildly popular over the past several years, and for good reason. They make it incredibly easy for you to keep track of (in other words, bookmark) the hundreds (dare I say thousands?) of websites you want to remember.
My problem? I have accounts on SEVERAL bookmarking sites. Which means I have to go searching through my searches to find what I’m looking for. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this problem. It’s exciting when a new site comes out, and you want to try it and see what all the buzz is about.
I was a De.licio.us user, and that was fine. But then when Delicious announced it was going to be scaling back its service (whatever happened with that?), I had to find something else. So I imported my bookmarks to Diigo.
I like Diigo. Very good for storing many, many bookmarks, and easily searchable by me or my colleagues who may or may not have an account.
And then Pinterest hit the scene. Oh, yes, I love Pinterest, too! I love the sleekness of it, the pictures as the bookmarks, and searching through the categories for new content. But Pinterest has some issues, as far as I’m concerned.
1. No Tags. I like using tags to be able to self-label the sites I bookmark. Yes, there are categories, and there is a search box, but these are not necessarily as effective as a list of tags.
2. Miscategorization. Some people on Pinterest put things in the WRONG categories. I’m so tired of searching in the Education category and finding recipes and clothing sets from Polyvore. THAT IS NOT EDUCATION, PEOPLE! It’s very annoying.
3. Difficulty with following. I wish the following option were different. I’d rather be able to have a categorized list of people I follow, and not have EVERYTHING they pin appear in my follow feed.
I also wish I could share just one pin with someone else, without having to pin it myself. For example, I see tons of art pins I’d like to share with the art teacher at my school, but I don’t necessarily need them in my list of pins. Since I wrote this post originally, Pinterest has recently come out with an update that allows you to share a pin with someone! Yay! They must have read my mind.
There’s another app I love, and I can’t believe it’s not more popular. It’s Springpad, and I’ve been using it for over 2 years now. It used to be rather small, but they now have a full fledged website as well as Android and iPad apps. They have all the features I’ve been wanting. You can organize your finds into notebooks according to a theme. You can save different types of content, such as images, bookmarks, recipes, etc. You can make your notebooks public or private. You can tag your “springs” for easy finding later. You can share either one spring or a whole notebook. I just love the flexibility and ease of use.
What I’ve found is that I use different apps like these for different purposes. I’ve been using Springpad for my recipes, Diigo for my links that I want to share with other teachers, and Pinterest for home decor and kids activity ideas. Maybe someday I’ll put it all in the same place, but for now I like being able to find many different things from all over the web.