[Updated] Xmarks the spot!
Do you use multiple browsers on multiple computers at multiple locations or have ever used the word “multiple” multiple times in one sentence? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you need to know about Xmarks. Simply put, Xmarks synchronizes your bookmarks across a myriad of browsers and platforms. This sounds like a simple thing, but trust me, it’s not! Safari (Mac, Snow Leopard version) is my principle browser and I’ve got hundreds of nicely organized bookmarks which form the basis for all of my online research and knowledge. I’ve been building this digital reference library for years, and long ago learned the benefits of backing up my bookmarks. To be able to access these bookmarks anywhere is a big deal for me!
Xmarks originally began life in 2006 as Foxmarks, a Firefox extension for synchronizing bookmarks and passwords between different installs of the Firefox browser… your home PC and work computer for example. Eventually support for other browsers and platforms was included and Xmarks as we now know it was born. This browser add-on now supports Safari, IE, Firefox and Chrome browsers on Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. I’m currently using it to backup and synchronize bookmarks on 3 Macs and one PC!
The good news is that this service is FREE!!! The bad news is that Xmarks just announced that they will be shutting down their service as of January 10th, 2011… as they weren’t making any money. Since the shut-down announcement the web’s been buzzing with folks bemoaning the pending loss of this great service. After all, they’re currently backing up and syncing more than a billion bookmarks, so that’s got to count for something. And while there are many options available for managing bookmarks, no one’s done it as elegantly as Xmarks!
More good news is that there’s been a surge of grassroots support for Xmarks and the developers are now reconsidering the shut-down. They’re looking for 100,000 users who would be willing to pay a $10 annual subscription fee to keep the service going. If they can reach this critical mass, then Xmarks will continue.
Here’s what you can do…
- If you are already an Xmarks user and would be willing to pay $10 per year for the service to continue, then click here to pledge. You don’t have to pay any money at all right now nor are you committed, just pledge to show that you’re interested.
- If you are not currently an Xmarks user, but would like to sync your bookmarks between multiple browsers, give it a try… its free for now!
I’m willing to bet that you’ll come to rely on this simply, yet powerful synchronization tool… and really ten bucks a year is nothing these days.
As of October 7th, more than 30,000 users have pledged to pay for Xmarks should the service go the “pay” route. More importantly, this viral support campaign has introduced several interested suitors to the Xmarks management team and it looks like a deal is pending to keep the service alive. You can follow the ongoing story on the Xmarks company blog. Like most Xmarks users out there, I’ve got my fingers crossed (and my ten bux ready to spend)!