The Geek Icon

Hopefully not the same thing as drinking the Kool-Aid. A look at the new web app Ma.gnolia.

Smelling the Flower

I browse the web a lot. Probably way more than a healthy person should. Definitely way more than a productive worker should, but that's another issue.

I can't help it though, I'm curious and I like to learn about stuff, even if I end up without enough time to actually apply it to anything. But I'll be taking a bunch of time off around Easter this year, and sitting around in my jammies playing video games only lasts me a day or so these days. I hope to do some fun stuff and exercise my creativity. I may even (gasp!) blog some more.

So, like I was saying, I browse the web a lot, looking for things that I'm curious about. I've been spending a lot of time visiting the Make blog and crafting and knitting web sites. I have a growing collection of bookmarks for sites that I want to get back to some day. Of course, some are at work, some are at home. Some are saved on my links page. In each area they're organised pretty well, but quite often I need a link from work when I'm at home, etc. and vice versa.

I knew I needed some kind of centralised way to store bookmarks, which was why I set up a facility to store hyperlinks on my website. But that was too much work and required overhead to either a) keep adding in links manually on the command line into postgresql or b) spend development time on my own making it easier for me to add links in. I had a look at del.icio.us when it first came out and just thought: Huh?. It's improved since then, but the winner ended up being the newly-launched Ma.gnolia.

I had signed up to be notified when Ma.gnolia launched simply out of curiosity, and when the email notification came, was quickly sucked in. Within a few minutes, I had imported all my bookmarks from Firefox into my new Ma.gnolia account. They were already pre-tagged based on my Firefox folder structure, which was pretty nice, but I soon decided that folder names didn't make for the best tags. It was then that I encountered Ma.gnolia's only major downfall for me so far— you can only edit one link at a time. A bit tedious when you are cleaning out hundreds of links stored up by an information pack rat. But it's a new app, so I imagine this is something that could be fixed if people more important than me whinged about it. I also saw mention of a premiere service option upcoming in the FAQs somewhere. It's possible that they will provide extra niceties for subscribed users. So I gave in to the tedium and luxuriated in two days of non-productive reorganising and cleaning out all the bookmarks I've saved.

One nice thing about Ma.gnolia is that it provides an RSS feed for every tag in your personal collection. I spend most of my web time in Bloglines, obsessively cycling through updated stuff. However, I have some sites I like that don't provide RSS updates-- for instance, some of my fave web comics. So I tagged them all with 'webcomic', subscribed to that tag's feed in Bloglines, and marked them all 'keep new'. That way I have a daily reminder to go check those sites, and if I find a new webcomic, I just have to Ma.gnolia it, tag it, and it will show up in Bloglines for me automatically. Nice.

I definitely think I will stick with Ma.gnolia and will hopefully be taking some time to overhaul my links page to consume feeds from my account there. In the meantime, you can find me adding links and tagging here.

About the Geek Icon

This is the weblog of a computer geek with a thousand interests, documenting the ins and outs, ups and downs of her daily life. A dual citizen of the US and Australia who has settled (for the time being) in Sydney. Read more about her on the bio page.

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