CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




One of the most valuable pieces of data your browser can hold are your bookmarks. For some people it’s not only important to access your bookmarks no matter where you’re at, but also from whatever browser you are using. That’s why today we are taking a look at some different ways you’ll be able to sync bookmarks between the different browsers.

Something I spent a lot of time doing was hunting around for a solution that would work in several different browsers, instead of just Firefox and Internet Explorer. Unfortunately there wasn’t a lot I could find because some browsers, like Opera, don’t make it easy for third-party bookmarking services to be integrated.

Luckily Opera 9.5 (currently in the Beta stage) will include bookmark synchronization with Opera’s own servers. What I would like to see is Opera open up their bookmarking service and create an API that other developers could use. That way their service could become the one-stop shop for remote & cross-browser bookmark synchronization. But until that happens here are some alternative solutions:

–FavoriteSync & PlainOldFavorites–

Firefox Favorites PlainOldFavorites is a Firefox extension that gives users direct access to the Internet Explorer Favorites. With it you can access, add, and organize your favorites from within Firefox. Once installed this will add a new menu option that will be adjacent to your existing Firefox Bookmarks menu, and the two bookmarking systems are always kept separate from each other.

You can make the system even more powerful if you combine it with the free FavoriteSync utility. This will synchronize your Internet Explorer Favorites with a remote server so that the bookmarks can be accessed from any computer.


–Del.icio.us–

Del.icio.us is one of the most popular online bookmarking services, and they offer a variety of tools that integrate with it. There is an add-on for Internet Explorer, a Firefox extension, and bookmarklets that should work in the other browsers.

I’ve tried out Del.icio.us before, but for some reason it never really struck me as all that great. It’s nice that your bookmarks are accessible from any browser via their website, but I just don’t feel like I have the control over my bookmarks that I would like to have. I guess you could say that I’m more of a folder guy rather than a tagger.

–Diigo–

Diigo is really more than just a bookmarking service. In addition to letting you save and organize bookmarks, you can also clip text and images from websites. Just like Del.icio.us they have an add-on for Internet Explorer, extension for Firefox, and bookmarklets designed for the other major browsers.

Don’t shrug off the bookmarklet as a weaker version of the add-ons. Diigo’s bookmarklet is surprisingly powerful, and you’ll find almost all of the features contained within the add-ons. If you’re using a browser other than Internet Explorer or Firefox Diigo would be a perfect fit for you.

–Zinkmo–

We’ve previously written about Zinkmo and explained about how it works, so we won’t go too much in depth here. It’s an all-in-one solution for people who want to synchronize their bookmarks between Firefox and Internet Explorer…remotely! They’ll store your bookmarks on a remote server, which makes this an ideal solution for people who use one browser at home, and a different one at work.

–Google Bookmarks–

Google Bookmarks is integrated into the Google Toolbar for both Internet Explorer and Firefox, but Firefox users also have the GMarks extension for even more control. Google’s bookmarking system is similar to Del.icio.us in that it uses a labeling/tagging system for organizing the bookmarks. The tools used to display the bookmarks will transform these tags into a folder-like system.

If you’re using a browser other than Internet Explorer or Firefox just drag this bookmarklet into your bookmarks:

Google Bookmark

That bookmarklet will let you bookmark the site currently being viewed in the browser. Unfortunately the only way to view and manage your existing bookmarks is to visit the official Google Bookmarks homepage.