Recently I received an email from the marketing folks wondering what it was that made me bookmark sites, and what it was about my home page that made me set it. I had never really thought about how I used bookmarks before, and definitely not why I set my homepage, I just used them.
As it turns out, most of my bookmarks have now transitioned into “favorites” from within Twitter. The Twitter users I follow act as good filters for me because if something gets re-tweeted a lot, or depending on where it comes from, I know it is most likely worthwhile to look at. I don’t have to spend a lot of my own time browsing, reading, or looking. Maybe I’m a little selfish, but if someone else wants to sift through the garbage and let me know where the good stuff is, more power to them. To make it even easier, using applications such as TweetDeck allow a person to search a topic and watch the feed for trends and good resources if they are looking for any specific information.
The current sites that I actually have bookmarked in my browser (Firefox 3.6.3) are mostly to the various websites that I’m building for my company, and the company blogs that go with them. Besides that I have:
- Pandora.com – Music + designing = awesomeness
- Slacker.com – for when my monthly limit on Pandora runs out
- Shutterstock.com – quick access to the stock image source I most frequent
- And then a collection of bookmarks drilling into specific tutorials for reference on various topics including Flash, Action Script, Flex, After Effects, Blender, WordPress, Photoshop, Fireworks, General Design, Flash Catalyst, iphone, etc….
If it’s a site I go to frequently, like twitter for instance, I just type “tw” in the address bar, tap the down arrow once, and hit enter. It seems to be a lot quicker to get to the site without having to go through the drop down hierarchy of my bookmarks like I used to do. If it’s just information I’m looking for (from sites that I know offer high value), rather than go direct to their website and navigating through all of the advertisements, I just have RSS feeds in place. I can then scan headlines and decide if there’s any new content that is relevant and interesting or not.
My homepage is whatever my browser uses as a default. Since when I’m online, I am mostly looking for specific information or specific topics, I use Google to search things out. Funny thing is, I just access the Google search right from the address bar in Firefox. I use Google without even using the Google website. With ease of use like that, why even set a homepage?
The question really made me recognize how much my online habits have changed in the last year. I consider myself a pretty average internet user, and that has made me wonder about how others have changed as well. Is there anything different that you’re doing online now? What are your online habits, or better yet, is there even time to form online habits anymore? With the amount of new information presented on a daily basis, how do you organize and get through the glut of information you come across?