Bookmarking beyond the browser

Bookmarking web pages is a breeze with tag-based bookmarking services like del.icio.us, which reduced the need for up-front organization and made it much easier to search for relevant bookmarks. New tag-based search engines like Yahoo’s MyWeb 2.0 search not only the tag descriptions but also the bookmarked web pages, allowing people to create targeted search spaces. CiteULike and Connotea automatically extract bibliographic references from websites, making life easier for academic researchers.

What if we took bookmarking beyond the browser? What if you could bookmark any resource on your computer as easily as you bookmark web pages now? What if you could organize those bookmarks into collections?

Some of these things are possible within applications. For example, the Microsoft Entourage personal information manager allows you to link mail, events, tasks, notes, and contacts. In the Emacs text editor, Planner allows you to link to almost anything within the Emacs environment.

What if you could bookmark anything?

Some projects explore cross-application data sharing. For example, Google Desktop for Microsoft Windows exposes an event stream from multiple applications and presents a sidebar of relevant items. GNOME Dashboard provides a similar service for Linux. OnLife for Mac OS X visualizes user activity in Safari, Firefox, iTunes, iChat, TextEdit and Mail. IBM T.J. Watson Labs prototyped personal chronicling tool for Microsoft Windows.

What if bookmarking Just Worked for all applications?