For the last 11 years, I’ve been storing all of my internet bookmarks on a site called delicious.com. When you save a bookmark, you associate a bunch of words (tags) with it and then you can easily search for bookmarks via the tags again later. For example, if I want to see all the bookmarks that I tagged with “map”, I just go to https://del.icio.us/bwmartens/map.
Unfortunately the site seems to be dying. Yahoo acquired it in 2005 and it was doing very well until Yahoo went down the tubes. Ownership has changed a few times since 2011 and I’m worried that some day soon it’s just going to disappear. They got rid of the delicious.com domain and are now only available under their original domain: del.icio.us. That broke a lot of the apps and extensions that had been built up around the site.
The biggest concern to me was that their export functionality was gone. So the 2600+ bookmarks I had saved there were in a black hole. I need very few of those but I regularly use it to pull up old bookmarks with solutions to various problems, especially for issues I encounter at work. So I set off on a journey to figure out how to get the bookmarks exported by myself. That proved to be tricky because their API is now shut down. I couldn’t even write my own app to export the bookmarks.
I came up with two ideas:
- The pages of bookmarks are easily accessible via this URL format: https://del.icio.us/bwmartens?&page=2 so I could download each page and then write a program that would convert the raw HTML of the bookmark list into something readable by another app. I actually did download all the pages since it was pretty simple. curl.exe is a great command line tool for downloading HTML and I quickly wrote a batch file that downloaded all 200+ pages of HTML. At least I had something in case it died the next day.
- I eventually found a Chrome browser extension (Delicious Bookmark Bar Sync 1.1) that still worked and would let me export my bookmarks. It ended up saving them into the Chrome bookmark list (each tag becomes a folder) which isn’t ideal, but it is possible to export bookmarks from Chrome so again, at least I have something.
Now that I know I have a fairly easy way to export my bookmarks periodically, I’m still using Chrome. This doesn’t seem to be a very popular product category anymore so I haven’t found a lot of other options. Google Bookmarks is a similar service but they don’t allow you to bulk import bookmarks. That’s such an obvious feature that it makes me wonder if Google is going to kill off that product some day too.
If you have a good bookmark tagging solution, please shoot me a note!