Pinboard is a web bookmarking service somewhat similar to del.icio.us but Pinboard is clean and virtually free of spam. The reason it is spam free is because you pay once to use it. I think I paid around a buck to get started – if I recall correctly, they have a system where the cost is based on how many users are using it. One of the main reasons they charge a fee is it keeps spammers away.
Other similar bookmarking services get spammy – wannabe SEO hacks think they can build traffic by bookmarking useless stuff over and over with multiple free accounts. Fail. All it does is clutter things up.
Ironically, I don’t often use Pinboard’s recent or popular pages to see what others are bookmarking, but when I have I always find cool stuff. Note to self: Use Pinboard’s popular page next time I’m bored.
The thing I really like about Pinboard is how clean, straightforward, and directly useful everything is. Recently I’ve begun taking advantage of using the RSS feeds – and there’s an RSS feed for just about everything – to view and track my bookmarks.
This is not to say there is anything wrong with the layout at their web site which is easily viewed from any device anywhere and all that jazz. But I like options.
Seeing the useful links on a feed reader is simply another great way to view them with some distinct advantages – the main one being everything is closer together and easier to scan.
I keep three feeds on my reader – the regular one with all my bookmarks, my “unread” bookmarks, and the “populars on Pinboard” feed.
For reading web sites later
The unread is for reading those links I’ve saved to read later. Have you ever been poking around some corner of the Web and noticed a link to something that looked interesting but you didn’t want to interrupt your flow (or you did interrupt your flow and wish you wouldn’t have later)? That’s what the save for later option is for.
And the popular on Pinboard thing is just what it sounds like – these are the links a lot of people are bookmarking, and that means a lot of people like them, and the thing all of these people have in common is they paid to use Pinboard and aren’t bookmarking things for any reason other than they found something cool or useful.
Through trial and error I’ve learned that excessive tagging doesn’t work for me. I usually try to use only one tag. No more than two if I can avoid it. Some people may like using a bunch. My theory is that my tags (already over 150 in the two years I’ve been on Pinboard despite how conservative with them) are easier to look through for future reference the fewer I have.
Suppose I find a great Photoshop tutorial I want to go back to later. That gets one tag. Photoshop. Tagging it with both photoshop and tutorial would be overkill – that just means a lot of useless tags – I view tutorials about all kinds of things. When I am looking for that Photoshop tutorial a year later, and I look at the tutorial tag, the Photoshop one will be mixed around all sorts of other tutorials. Well… they would be if I tagged that way.
Explore and use Pinboard your way
Your mileage may vary. Experiment and use it the way you like. That is the important thing with getting the most out of services like this – taking the time to explore what it has to offer and practicing using them until it becomes a useful habit.