Pinboard

March 14, 2019 • #

I was a big del.icio.us user back in the day, pre- and post-Yahoo. For anyone unfamiliar, it was one of the first tools (before Twitter) for sharing web links and making bookmarks social.

I signed up for Pinboard around the time it launched. Creator Maciej Cegłowski had an interesting concept for making his service paid, a tactic that could allow it to generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining and avoid the acquisition & stagnation that del.icio.us suffered at the hands of Yahoo after they acquired it in 2005.

When it launched it cost around $3 to join, a one-time fee to get in the door that could fund development and hosting, but most importantly deter the spam that plagued del.icio.us over time. His idea was to increase the signup fee by a fraction of a cent with each new user, which functioned as a clever way to increase revenue, but to also incentivize those on the fence to get in early.

I stopped using any bookmarking tools for a while, in favor of using Instapaper to bookmark and read later mostly articles and things. But a couple of things pushed me back to Pinboard recently. First there are all the items I want to save and remember that aren’t articles, but just links. Instapaper could certainly save the URL, but that’s not really that service’s intent. Second is the fact that I don’t even tend to use the in-app reading mode on Instapaper to read articles anyway; most of the time I just click through and read them on their source websites.

Since I’m keeping track of and documenting more of the interesting things I run across here on this site, Pinboard helps to keep and organize them. Pinboard’s description as an “anti-social bookmarking” tool is an apt one, for me. I have all of my bookmarks set to private anyway. I’m not that interested in using it as a sharing mechanism — got plenty of those already between this blog, Twitter, and others.

For mobile I bought an app called Pinner that works well to add pins right from the iOS share sheet, and also browse bookmarks. I’m liking this setup so far and finding it useful for archiving stuff and using as a read-later tool for the flood of things I get through RSS and Twitter.