Make your own Product Hunt collections and bookmarks

Happy holidays, early, from Product Hunt. The self-described “Reddit for products” has introduced a few new tools that diehard fans have been asking for.

First up: You can now bookmark the cool stuff you come across. The site’s aficionados were resorting to other services, like Trello, to keep track of all their finds. This lets them do it in Product Hunt itself. But investors and sex addicts beware: For now, your bookmarking is public. Don’t go saving your potential investments or all the variations on the PornHub app, unless you want the world to know your secrets.

The second product feature is do-it-yourself collections. Users can create their own Product Hunt lists, compiling groups of products around a certain theme or commonality. Product Hunt has been releasing its own collections for months now — founder Ryan Hoover tells me there are roughly one hundred of them. Popular ones range from the “Uber-for-x” app list to my personal favorite “Fashion Hunt.”

The make-your-own option allows experts and wannabe experts to get in on the curation. Product Hunt will feature the best ones on the site and give them free marketing boosts via Twitter and the like.

The collections that Product Hunt has created itself will also now be available. Before, Product Hunt didn’t compile them together or make them easy to find, since the fledgling company doesn’t have the resources to update them when new products are released. You’d have to resort to hackery using the collections slug http://producthunt.com/e/. Product Hunt still won’t be updating its guides, but Hoover is banking on you making your own collections instead of hounding Product Hunt to update its own.

Product Hunt’s new features are fun, but there’s a deeper purpose behind them than just pleasing the users. The company aims to expand topics beyond tech and startups, creating Product Hunts for subjects like fashion or sports. By promoting its collections and encouraging other people to take part, Product Hunt is priming its users for these new categories. Hoover says we can expect to see new Product Hunt sections in the first or second quarter of 2015.

The company is also developing its search engine technology, gathering related information on different products so it can one day introduce recommendation algorithms and stronger discovery features.

The rookie Valley favorite is growing bigger by the day.

Screenshot of how you add an app to a collection from your Product Hunt home screen

Screenshot: How to add an app to a collection from your Product Hunt home screen

Opera users can now easily share collections of bookmarks

The Opera browser now includes a bookmark-sharing feature, the Norwegian firm said on Wednesday. Instead of having to paste multiple URLs into an email or instant message, as of version 26 of the desktop browser, users can save their “findings” into a collection, with each page represented by a thumbnail. They can then share the URL for that collection via email or social media or whatever. Opera for Android has also gained a similar feature, with sharing also made possible via Bluetooth or Android Beam. In related news, Opera 26 marks the full return of Opera to Linux after the browser’s major internal revamp in 2013, with that version rejoining the stable stream. Version 24 snuck into the developer stream in June.

BridgeURL: An Easy and Fast Way to Share Slideshows of Links

BridgeURL is a free app that lets you gather together a collection of links and share them as a slideshow via a single URL. It’s useful for researching a project with your team, or just for sharing a bunch of cool sites on Twitter.

Xmarks Shutting Down Soon: Here’s an Alternative

Bookmark syncing service Xmarks is shutting down for good on Jan. 10, 2011, meaning that all syncs will cease, and all backups will be lost. At least the early notice means we have time to look for alternatives, which for Safari users won’t be that easy.

Quick Tip: Keep Your Bookmarks in Sync

If you use multiple Macs then there’s probably been at least one time in your computing life when you’ve wished you could keep your Internet bookmarks synced between them. Other than MobileMe, the best way to do this is using Xmarks.

Google Launches Bookmarks Syncing With Chrome, After Killing It on Firefox

chrome_logo1Google (s goog) is integrating its Bookmarks service with its Chrome web browser. The service will allow users to link their local bookmarks and browser data with the Google cloud, letting bookmarks be automatically backed up and shared with the cloud. The search giant used to offer this same feature as a FireFox plug-in called Google Browser Sync, but the company “phased out” the product with the launch of Firefox 3 — and never offered any real reasoning for it. The company still offers access to the Bookmarks service in Firefox through the Google Toolbar, but there is no synchronization between local and cloud-stored bookmarks. It is kind of surprising that, as a Google product, Chrome didn’t have this sort of integration from the beginning.  Read More about Google Launches Bookmarks Syncing With Chrome, After Killing It on Firefox

Read It Later on Your iPhone

readitlaterIdeaShower’s Read It Later, a service that allows you to save interesting web pages to read later either through a Firefox extension or bookmarklets (and is so good that Judi gave it glowing review), now has a really nifty companion iPhone and iPod touch app (s aapl) that I highly recommend.
The iPhone app does everything that the Firefox extension does, giving you the ability to mark web pages to read later and then catch up on your reading at a more suitable time. It supports offline viewing of downloaded content so you can save pages to view when you might have patchy reception. The interface is nicely designed, and it’s very easy to use. Read More about Read It Later on Your iPhone

Observation: Bookmarks Dead

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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? Read More about Observation: Bookmarks Dead

Foxmarks Adds Cross Browser Sync for IE and Safari

foxmarks-logoWe’re living in a cross-platform and cross-browser world. Most web workers aren’t one-browser-fits-all.

I have two computers: a MacBook Pro and an iMac. Even though Firefox 3 is my default browser on both computers, I regularly have at least three different browsers open to do what I need to do in my work day. Certain sites only work in Internet Explorer, while others simply behave better in Chrome or Safari. Other sites are bookmarked in Safari solely for the iPhone.

Foxmarks has long been the free go-to utility for syncing bookmarks between multiple instances of Firefox. I’ve long preferred Foxmarks to Mozilla Weave which, while it syncs more information between Firefox browsers, I’ve found to be less reliable. For non-Firefox browsers, I’ve had to use my.foxmarks.com to access sites using IE or Safari that are bookmarked in Firefox.

No more. Last week, Foxmarks introduced syncing for both IE and Safari (I can’t wait for a Chrome version).

Read More about Foxmarks Adds Cross Browser Sync for IE and Safari