Ma.gnolia, A Better Way to Bookmark
About three months ago I ditched delicious. I think delicious is an interesting tool as a search engine, but I never could get into the layout and design of the site for my personal bookmarks. Mike Arrington had suggested at the Future of Web Apps that he too had recently ditched delicious for a better bookmarking site (although he didn’t name which one) and a friend told me it was Blue Dot. So I figured I’d try Blue Dot out. Today he mentions that Blue Dot is the bookmarking site he’s using.
I liked the community aspect of Blue Dot and the way that it recommended my contact’s bookmarks to me in real time, but I found the advertising just a tad much and I didn’t like the layout in the end there either. It would show me my most popular tags but I found it hard to find all of my bookmarks. I know there are probably simple ways to do these things but they weren’t intuitive for me.
About this time my friend Chris Messina suggested that I give Magnolia a try. So I started using Magnolia and Blue Dot at the same time. And then after a few more weeks I ditched Blue Dot altogether and now use Magnolia exclusively. And I really like it.
The thing that I like most about Magnolia is the design. It is simple, elegant and does exactly what I want it to do. The advertising is not intrusive. The site allows you to designate between public and private bookmarks. The site has a nice bookmarklet that allows me to go to a little pop up box anytime I want to bookmark a site. Right there in the box I can designate public or private and I can rate the bookmark as well. I can scour my contact’s bookmarks for interesting sites (Merlin Mann has some good ones).
I still need to figure out how to make the bookmarklet pop up instead of pop under (I think this might be an issue either with Firefox or my new Mac that I just need to figure out) but other than that I like everything about it.
I really like the way that Magnolia supports OpenID. I like how easy it was to add my avatar. It has a nice integration feature with Technorati.
It also has strong potential for community. The community is not there exactly yet, but hopefully they have built something strong enough that will attract it. Right now I’ve only got a few contacts on Magnolia, but if you are on Magnolia or are not on it yet but sign up for it, make me a contact or let me know so I can make you one back. Here’s a link to my profile.
One other ancillary thing I will add to my recent bookmarking trek is I was very, very, pleased to see how easy it was to import and export bookmarks around the various sites I tried. Delicious, Blue Dot and Magnolia all made it easy to import and export and are good examples of the kind of user portability of data that other content sites should strive for.
Overall all I’d give Magnolia a 5 star rating out of 5 stars. It’s simple, elegant, neatly designed, it’s functional, supportive of the community and a treat to use.