Getting on the Social Trail

More reports of social annotation tools — services that allow you to not just bookmark sites but share those bookmarks, and other bits and pieces with them. This one from the highly readable Read/Write Web, just down the road from me in NZ:

There are a plethora of bookmarking sites out there and only a few of them have become very successful – and Stumbleupon are two that spring to mind. Trailfire is a bit different from your average bookmarking site, because they don’t just allow you to share bookmarks – they make it easy for you to share ‘trails’, which are “annotated navigation paths”.

I haven’t had a chance to try out trailfire, and I’m not quite sure how well it works, mainly because it won’t load (it’s been telling me to stand by for nearly 15 minutes now, which is as Bob Geldof would say, a quarter of an hour too long. It has, however, been added to my directory of such tools, which is looking quite big now.

Two More Bookmark Managers

Here are two additions to my Directory of Bookmark managers:

Henrik Sjöstrand tells me of his Netvouz,  which includes

your own online bookmarks page which gives a good overview of your favorite web sites and easy access to them. You organize your bookmarks in categories and tag each bookmark with keywords and can then browse them by category or tag, or search for them. Bookmarks can be public (like a social bookmark manager) or private. Your bookmarks are regularly validated to ensure they are not broken. It also has import/export capabilities, intranet bookmarks, Hotpicks for your most used bookmarks, RSS feeds, an Add2Netvouz button for easily bookmarking new sites, and a clean-looking user interface. The “new” and “popular” pages show what other people use and is a great way to discover new interesting web sites.

While from David Ross, author of WindowSizer, comes FavoritesFinder:

Favorites Finder runs in a bar at the bottom of your browser and by typing a few key letters you can navigate quickly to any website you’ve added to your favorites. You can now add more websites to your favorites and reach them much more quickly than by scrolling through a long list with your mouse.

Instead of scrolling through a long list of bookmarks or typing the full address for a website you can simply click in the Favorites Finder bar, type a few letters from the website title, address or folder name, hit Enter and be off to that site. It’s especially useful for those sites you’re always visiting, be it an ebay listing, your webmail, or favorite blog.

Favorites Finder is available as a free 30-day trial, downloadable from  To continue use after that costs $12.95.

Anyone with more suggestions to any of the directories, please feel free to drop me a line.

Mail: More On Searching

 First off, apologies for the silence the past couple of days: I was downed by ‘flu. Anyway, here’s some mail from a reader and fellow blogger, David Brake, Internet consultant & journalist, who runs and on the subject of Searching.
I just tried out x1 and while like you I like the idea of a free local file search tool (remember Altavista used to do one?) the lack of Acrobat support in its basic version is a serious weakness, IMHO. In your discussion of various local search tools I think you under-state the importance of the fact that x1 is the only free version out there so far. This surely is a market Google should get into!
Since you are clearly interested in search might I suggest you write about “Dave’s Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar” 
which gives the functionality of the Google toolbar but lots more besides – a single search interface into dozens of translation, conversion and other utility websites. I also recommend Powermarks – for fast, easy to use and portable bookmark management – I now have > 5,000 bookmarks indexed and it still responds quickly.
Lastly (obplug) I have just finished a book for Dorling Kindersley – Managing E-mail – which was designed to be a simple non-technical guide, inexpensive enough to give to everyone in an organization ($7), that would nonetheless introduce workers at all levels to many of the key techniques they can use to manage email more effectively and the key security and legal issues they may face. There is also a companion website I have just created which I hope you will take a look at and (if you are so moved) comment on. Ditto my weblog.
Thanks, David. I understand from the folks at X1 that Acrobat support is in their next version. You’re right, the free element is important, but I’ve found I’d rather pay for something as important as searching your hard-drive. Enfish went with free for a while, and it just made me nervous.