When you bookmark a site, you are typically able to capture 3 pieces of information: the site name, the site URL, and a location you create to store and organize that bookmark. The first two are the whole point of creating a bookmark. The latter is the folder structure that you devise to manage all of your bookmarks. In most cases, there’s not much else you can do with a bookmark without an extension.
I was reminded of this when I saw MakeUseOf‘s review of Bookmark#, an add-on for Google Chrome. Plug-ins can add the ability to extend a bookmark with additional metadata. The failure of folder structures is that you can only put a bookmark in one place. The ability to add tags can make that bookmark appear readily.
Chrome isn’t the only browser to have plugins that support additional metadata. Delicious and Pearltrees are Web sites that enable additional markup to bookmarks. Delicious was bought, then sold by Yahoo!, and appears to have returned to its roots. Pearltrees is a site I like because it has a graphical node organization structure – the metadata is in the organization. In both cases, though, you use a bookmarklet to save the site and then add the metadata.
The ability to add the metadata directly to the bookmark within your browser seems more useful, based on how I use my bookmarks. A survey of the bookmark plugins didn’t show any category killers, although it surfaced Zotero, which I haven’t used for awhile. The standalone version plugs into any browser and it may provide the best all-around option since it allows for substantial metadata around any resource – not just Web sites – that you bookmark or save for later citation. The downside is that the metadata leaves your Web browser so that, if you synchronize your bookmarks across computers, the metadata doesn’t come with it unless you are synchronizing and using Zotero in each location.
Mozilla Firefox’s latest versions have added tagging to the bookmarking feature. Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 still only take the URL and title and leaves you to organize it. You can improve Chrome using a plugin but you’re on your own with IE. If you’re an Internet Explorer user and are interested in enhancing your bookmarks, give Delicious or Pearltrees a try.