Magazine article Online

Furl It!

Magazine article Online

Furl It!

Article excerpt

Good researchers maintain at least a small collection of bookmarks for their favorite Web resources. Some researchers (and you know who you are) have bookmark files that run into the hundreds. While it is nice to have handy access to key resources, it can be difficult to manage and, more importantly, find information buried in a large bookmark file.

A new solution to this problem is Furl [www.furl.net], a "social bookmarking" service. The idea is similar to the social networking services such as Linkedln or Orkut, and to Amazon.corn's "people who bought that book also bought these books." If other people have bookmarked the same site you just bookmarked, perhaps you would be interested in seeing the other sites they bookmarked as well. Competitors to Furl include del.icio.us, Backflip, Pluck, Spurl.net, and Wists.

In a nutshell, Furl lets you bookmark pages to the Furl site, annotate the bookmark, and assign keywords to the bookmark. Furl not only stores that information in your My Archive area of its site, but it also archives a copy of the page as it exists when you bookmark the page. Whoa! That means you can, in essence, build your own private version of the Wayback Machine.

What else can you do with your "Furled" pages? You can run a search of your bookmarks, in which Furl actually goes out and searches the current version of all the bookmarked pages, not just your annotations of that page. That means you can build your own searchable version of the Web, or at least that corner of it that you find useful. (If the search terms don't appear in any of your Furled pages, Furl returns the first 300 search results from a LookSmart Web search.)

You can also choose to search the universe of Furled pages-not just your own but those of all other Furl members. The search results page shows the links to Furled pages as well as a snippet showing your search term in context, the number of other Furl members who have Furled the page (an interesting indication of the relative influence of that page, at least within the Furl community), and a link that lets you add the page to your own Furled bookmarks. One more click and you can see comments people made when they Furled the page; again, a potentially useful perspective into what other Furl members are thinking. Interestingly, the results of an entire Furl search are relevance-ranked based on PeopleRank (note the similarity in naming to Google's PageEank). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.