Furl – Gmail for bookmarks?

Checking a few backlinks this morning, I stumbled across my blog listed in someone’s Furl archive and headed over to check it out. As I’m in a lazy mood, I’ll let the Furl folks tell what it is all about.

Furl is dedicated to making it easy for users to archive, recall, share, and discover useful information on the Web. With a couple clicks, Furl will archive any page. You can easily find it by browsing your personal directory of web pages or by using the full text search that only searches pages you’ve archived. It’s like having your own Google.

Not just limited to archiving pages, Furl also gives you the best ways to share content. Furl makes it easy for your friends to decide which categories of links they are interested in and receive a daily “newsletter” of links. Furl also generates RSS feeds for your links and makes it simple for you to integrate this content into an existing website.

I like these last two – the fact that, just like BlogLines can be used as a feed for your blogroll, Furl can be set up to feed a configured ‘furlroll’ to your website and that you can set up RSS feeds. In addition, a good number of export option exist to move your archives to a more ‘local’ location if you wish. These include XML, zip archive Internet Explorer favorites and Mozilla/Netscape bookmarks formats, not to mention 5 citation formats as well.

As someone who is increasingly moving towards web-based solutions for much of my online requirements, I shall be interested to see if it fits in with the way I surf. For those with the usual privacy/what’s you business plan/what if they go bust/how can I get at my data? concerns, the FAQ answers all that and more.

Furl – and the GtD folks who visit here – might be of interest to the team over at the Keeping Found Things FoundTM research project of the Information School at the University of Washington. The KFTF team are looking into the key challenge of information retrieval, namely simply put, helping people find the things they are looking for (books, articles, web pages, CDs, etc.) from a very large set of possibilities. Their primary focus is actually one step further than that – how are things organized for re-access and re-use later on? Hence the Keeping Found Things Found moniker. Check out the Papers section for some very interesting and enlightening material on how we store and find things.

Talking of Gmail, like the world and his wife, I have more invites – if you are a GtDer, friend, colleague or regularly comment here and you want Gmail, let me know.

One Response to “Furl – Gmail for bookmarks?”

  1. Ian McKenzie says:

    Thanks for the tips. If you just stumbled across Furl, you’ve sorted out more features in your first look than I have after using it for some time. Furl has just been a big disorganized on-line bookmark repository for me. Now I’m going to dig around and see what else I can do.

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