Update: Jon Udell is talking about many of the same issues I raise here, though at a bit more abstract level, and using other tools. To my knowledge, everything he describes using del.icio.us is possible using Furl as well.

Have you ever found an interesting article on the Internet, only to forget where it was when you want to go back to it three days later? Ever gone digging for a quote from an article about Struts or Tapestry to show a friend, but can’t where it is amongst all the stuff that you’ve read? I’m sure you scan over tons of stuff on the Internet, and I’ve found a great way to keep track of it without cluttering up your desktop, email, or browser bookmarks.

Check out furl.net? It’s way more than an online bookmarks site. From the About Furl page:

The web’s usefulness grows each day. More great content is available each week. More transactions are executed as users buy more goods online. Unfortunately the web is also very large and dynamic. How many times have you gone back trying to find an article you read only days before but not finding it? How many times have you tried in vain to recall something you read months ago?

Furl is dedicated to making it easy for users to archive, recall, share, and discover useful information on the Web. With a couple clicks, Furl will archive any page. You can easily find it by browsing your personal directory of web pages or by using the full text search that only searches pages you’ve archived. It’s like having your own Google.

Not just limited to archiving pages, Furl also gives you the best ways to share content. Furl makes it easy for your friends to decide which categories of links they are interested in and receive a daily “newsletter” of links. Furl also generates RSS feeds for your links and makes it simple for you to integrate this content into an existing website.

The searching feature is just awesome. Not only can you search any keywords you typed in when you clicked Furl It!, but it actually searches the full text contents of the page you bookmarked! But what if that page disappears? You have your own private copy at Furl (you can view it, but others can’t).

I never thought I’d use the Share freature of Furl, but I’ve got a friend’s Furl RSS feed in my aggregator. I watch what he bookmarks since we work together, and have a similar direction we’re looking on Java and some of the other tools. I find most of what he links to interesting, and some of it surprising. It’s hard to describe until you experience it yourself. Watch a friend’s links, or follow mine if you’d like.

So sign up, put the Furl It! scriptlet on the links bar of your favorite browser, and Furl It! whenever you find a page that’s kinda cool. You’ll find stuff more often, and you can rest easy knowing that your internet research time won’t need to be repeated from scratch 3 weeks from now. Get your friends to Furl It!, and you’ll find half your research is already done before it’s needed! Leave a comment with a link to your Furl site and RSS feed (check out Sharing Your Archive once you’ve registered) so others can watch your links. Maybe we’ll eliminate the need to do any research. :-)

Furl It!

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