Twiddling with Twine

Twine buttons can be personalized by uploading images from your hard drive
Twine buttons can be personalized by uploading images from your hard drive

del.icio.us used to be my favourite place for stashing away bookmarks. It worked well for a long time, it was great to just click on the del.icio.us tab when I found a useful web page and store it away for later. The problem in the end was that I stored so many links it ceased to be useful. I tried altering my tags to create a more streamlined system but found myself stunned by the tedium of reorganization.

Then I read an article in Wired magazine (May, 2008) by Clive Thompson titled ‘Information Overlord’ addressing the problem of internet induced information overload. Thompson mentioned a web application called Twine that he had just discovered, and cautiously recommended, so I decided to investigate it for myself. At that time Twine was not publicly available but they invited people to write and ask for an account. I duly typed a polite request and they let me join in. (Nowadays you can simply send in your email address, and they will send an invitation with a little warning that the application is still in beta mode.)

Twine makes some grandiose claims about being Web 3.0 and there are some intense discussions addressing this claim percolating on the web (Twine Disappoints After Semantic Web Hype and Why I Migrated Over to Twine.) I have no clue whether it really is Web 3.0 or not, and I am not sure I even care as all I want is a decent bookmarking system. (I know I am revealing a touch of the I want the elevator to work but I don’t want to know about the little cable that holds it up syndrome.) After all, all I want is to be able to find the things I have stored away.

Public Twine
Public Twines

You can set up as many Twines as you like, tag information and write notes about each bookmark if you feel like it. There is a choice about making your Twine public or keeping it private, and you can join other people’s public Twines sharing bookmarks across several twines. I like Twine’s user interface and I especially like being able to select images for each Twine header, in addition each bookmarked page is saved with a thumbnail picture. The application does much more than I have described here; one of its coolest features (for me anyway) is that it sends me an email that reminds me about my own recently saved bookmarks. Emails also arrive supplying me with notifications of posts by other people on the public Twines. Seems a useful application to me so far, I encourage others to see for themselves and have a twiddle with Twine!

Also see cyberloom’s earlier post on managing information overload ‘Librarians will inherit the world!’

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