The Social Web meets Hermit

Let me start off by noting that while I spend most of my waking hours on a computer and many of them on the web, I am not necessarily “hip” in a web 2.0 way. The whole “social” trend on the web has been passing me by. I am vaguely aware of things like Flickr and with tagging and folksonomy all the rage and MySpace with its trendy social network, but frankly none of it appeals to me. Perhaps this because I am a bit of a fuddy-duddy and like my dark little anti-social hole in the web from which I occasionally peer out. I’m not terribly social by nature, especially with circles of people I don’t know, and I generally tend to shrink away from anything smacking of “trendy”.

All this lead in is, of course, for a nice foil to my first, tentative steps into the trend. I have actually gotten an account with the new social bookmarking service called Ma.gnolia. My interest and reason for getting an account has less to do with the trendy bits and is motivated by the fact that I need an online place to keep my bookmarks for when I don’t have my computer. I had seen a bit about the launch of the service this week in one of the blogs that I frequent and then I happened to be at Jeffrey Zeldman’s blog poking around and saw that he was on the team that put Ma.gnolia together, along with Eric Meyer. Well, with CSS gods such as they involved, I thought maybe I’d take a little peek. I have recently been struggling lately with bookmark organization and synchronization between home and work and the idea of online bookmarks was appealing as a way to eliminate the hassle (or at least part of it – I am horribly addicted to Firefox keywords and so must have all of my keyword bookmarks on every local machine I touch or I can get testy). It also happens that this Saturday I am meeting with a client and instead of the usual internet cafe with my laptop, I am actually going to her house and we will be using her computer. But what about my bookmarks to all the sites I want to discuss? Hmm, Ma.gnolia to the rescue.

So, basically a confluence of events occurred that led me to get an account and now that I have it I’m exploring the trendy bits and getting a sense of why they are trendy. Because they are cool. And by cool, I mean helpful. I don’t feel that tagging is the best avenue for all data tracking (I like hierarchical folders for email and that’s just what I’m comfortable with) but with bookmarks it already feels like a nice fit. I have yet to really use it extensively so we’ll see. The other pleasant surprise is the social aspect of it where I can share my bookmarks (or not, if I choose) with others and vice-versa. This way I can see what other people are looking at within a topic of interest, say css or gardening, and find some cool sites I didn’t know about. You can even join groups where the members combine bookmarks on a particular topic. One I joined is just for freelance web business bookmarks.

So, anyway, I may actually like this thing and who knows, heaven forbid, maybe I’ll prefer it to my old bookmarking ways. Time will tell, although I can bet that no matter what happens I still won’t be hip.