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Bookmarks are Rotten

Does this question sound stupid to you? Any Internet user knows that every browser has the Bookmarks or Favorites menu that people should use to bookmark the Web pages they are interested in. Your Web browser even has a Bookmark Manager that allows you to build large and sophisticated trees of bookmarked grouped by categories. There used to be a service called del.icio.us, and millions users were storing their bookmarks there. Maybe they still do (now it’s not del.icio.us, but simply delicious.com). But I don’t.

I don’t even use bookmarks with the exception of a dozen of them that fit on the browser’s Bookmarks toolbar. Yep, under the menu. Every morning I go through the same ritual – I click on 4-5 links saved on my bookmarks toolbar. During the day I repeat this ritual several times. OK, I keep another 4-5 bookmarks on this toolbar, which I use once a month or so. That’s all I need. I even have a rule – if I believe that a particular page have to be bookmarked, I find the least used bookmark on my browser’s toolbar and replace it.

Google is so fast these days, that it’s faster to do a quick search on Google than trying to find the bookmark that you saved last year. And what’s more important, the content ages so quickly that visiting the last year’s bookmark will almost for sure will give you an outdated or even misleading information.

This is definitely true for any IT-related information. Being a technical book author, I’d automatically bookmarked an interesting technical article, or blog. I might need it while doing my research for the next book! Wrong! I don’t need it cause it becomes old as soon as you bookmark it. It’s faster to find the fresh content.

Let alone bookmarks. I don’t even use the Help feature that comes with all these software products installed on my computer. Finding things using Help is slow and produces the outdated info (I know how the technical writers work, trust me). Use Google – it’s faster and fresher.

Are there any exceptions that would make bookmarks useful? Maybe, travel sites? Paris is still there, right? Wrong! What do you need in Paris? A good place to eat, to sleep, and things to do. This information gets old too. You’ve stayed in that hotel 3 years ago and it was great? Go to TripAdvisor and do a quick search to see what people who stayed there last week have to say. Ouch, they started the renovation last month, there is scaffolding in foyer and the construction workers are all over the place.

Anyway, bookmarks proved to be useless, at least for me. I have a supermarket called “A & P” in the area. I don’t go there, but I like the motto on their sign: “A & P. Obsessed with freshness”. Let’s be obsessed with freshness too. Get a fresh piece. Don’t use these rotten bookmarked products.


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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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