I’ve been retracing my digital footprints recently. Partly to erase the un-needed, embarrassing, and generally unremarkable, and partly because my memory is crap and I have no idea what I was doing online yesterday, much less 20 years ago.
One tool I’ve rediscovered is the bookmarking site Diigo. Back when, I liked it but stopped using it because curating all the cool things I wanted to bookmark (i.e. remember) was a real pain in the ass.
I mean, to ‘properly’ bookmark something, I couldn’t just use a keyboard shortcut, I had to go to Diigo, log in, and make the bookmark. But that wasn’t enough. No, then I needed to annotate it, assign it to an appropriate list or group…
The latter actions were, strictly speaking, unnecessary. But, back in the day, that was a big part of being online. Native bookmarking in ALL the browsers sucked (still does for the most part, but whatever) so, as part of ‘Web 2.0’ services like Diigo and Del.icio.us and who knows what all else I’ve forgotten rose up to provide a valuable service. Which they did. Until they became bloated and overwrought and too much of a pain too use.
Anyway. My Diigo account was last updated in 2015 with the addition of a single bookmark. Prior to that, it had last been updated in 2012, which is when I was using it the most (and, not coincidentally, during one of my more prolific periods as a blogger).
In the intervening time, Diigo has made some significant changes. Some of which I like, others which I’m not so crazy about, but the short version is – it’s cool again and I’ve started updating it with a lot of the junk that has been taking up space in my bookmarks folder.
There are some interesting new uses that I’m planning to explore and I’ll try to post about them here when I get more into them. In the meantime, just for funsies, here are a few of the odder or more interesting things I had bookmarked back in 2012 and had subsequently forgotten about:
Grain Surfboards – These are just the most awesomest thing ever. I don’t even surf; the last time I tried I damn near drowned myself, but I still want one. I keep feeling like, if I had one, or maybe three, of these, I would definitely drown myself, but I would look really cool doing so.
SoulPancake – Founded by Rain Wilson (of The Office fame), Soul Pancake is one of those creative / lifestyle portal sites that seem much easier to start when you’re already a) rich and b) famous. (See also Hit Record and Goo.)
Angry Birds – Here’s a link from 2010 to the Angry Birds store, where you could get plushies of all the different birds! Ah, simpler times, simpler times…
Brain Pickings – What do you know? A site I still read! Although these days I do so through the newsletter, which is amazing and worthwhile and recommended.
University of Reddit – It’s hard to believe how long I’ve been on Reddit. It’s harder to believe that when I first started reading the site, it was much, much less popular than it is now. Still, one of the best and most useful things to come out of Reddit is the University of Reddit, which collects the best places to learn things online, as collected in Reddit.
And that’s enough for one post. I’m enjoying this deep dive through my own and the internet’s history, so I’m sure there will be a few more…