Sharing information trails

Over the course of my browsing and blog watching I come across several really cool (IMHO) products and tools.

In the early days I used to bookmark them, but that didn’t work when I bought a laptop and started working on more than one computer :-) So I developed this complicated system of exporting and importing bookmarks till I discovered USB drives and that Mozilla Firefox could be made portable. But speed concerns and the realization that USB drives have limited write cycles drove me to looking for an on-line solution.

I used Yahoo bookmarks for awhile (now they have upgraded the tool and call it Yahoo My Web) but then I discovered Del.icio.us and I was hooked. I have used Del.icio.us since January last year and its only got better. It is, IMHO the preeminent social bookmarking tool out there, not only because of its clean spare interface but also because of it’s creativity. My Del.icio.us links are available on this blog on the right side below the pictures.

However Del.icio.us is blocked by the firewall at work and a friend of mine was asking me for ideas to share links with people, so I started looking again. I saw this tool (called Trailfire) today that looks particularly promising. Whats different about this website (other than fact that it can be accessed from work :-)) is that you can make comments and annotations about a set of web pages and create “a trail” about a particular topic – for e.g.: TiddlyWiki Trail

Update: Well, the powers that be at work finally decided that Del.icio.us is a legitimate and useful website after all and unblocked it a few weeks back. I have however continued to use Trailfire. I many ways I think it is a great complement to Del.icio.us. While Del.icio.us is great for quick bookmarking and for searching, its rather hard to put together a montage of links based on a theme like Trailfire. Trailfire has become my preferred tool when I want to bundle a set of links based on a particular topic. It makes it really easy and intuitive to share these links with other people, while also adding your own comments as to the content, relevance etc of each link.

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