Observation: Bookmarks Dead


Going through the day-to-day realities of web crawling I find myself using the Favorites or Bookmarks feature of browsers less and less. Oddly enough, however, this statement is coming from the same guy with thousands of them backed up on multiple drives.

Early this week, I had an epiphany that resulted in me deleting thousands of old Bookmarks from Firefox, as I started filtering through a list which has been gathering digital dust for years. While narrowing down a list of seemingly endless Bookmarks, I noticed all of these web sites I no longer visit or, for that matter, remember. Many of these sites no longer existed or had since been left to ruin, and I began to remember how only a few years ago I typically carried a copy of my Bookmarks on a flash-drive wherever I went. But then I looked at a few of these old sites and started thinking… I started thinking about how someone such as myself can go from utilizing thousands of bookmarks to only using a select few.

I have noticed that many people such as I have began to use bookmarks less and less, but why?

RSS was one of the first widely used formats that allowed people to retrieve their information in quick truncated lists. Now that RSS has become mainstream, people have turned to Digg, Reddit or Delicious to not only uncover new Bookmarks but to store personal ones as well.

People are turning to more outlets for information than ever before. Services such as Facebook and Twitter have drastically changed how people receive information over the Internet. Allowing people to get vast quantities of information at any time, and thanks to the iPhone Apps for services such as these, we can now access this information anywhere.

The point is, people are moving away from using the Bookmarks feature of browsers and choosing a more advantageous route. People naturally want to find easier ways to accomplish tasks, and using services like Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious someone could find a link, a quote, song, or any other bit of information at any time of day. Where it is commonplace to update your Twitter status via your iPhone in the morning before brushing your teeth, and where people no longer mail invitations to a party, instead sending them via Facebook, it is in this same world that browser-based bookmarks have become obsolete.