Imagine: You are working on something; suddenly you remember that some time back you stumbled across a piece of information that could save you hours of work.
Wait, you saved the bookmark! A brief moment of exhilaration.
You go to your bookmark service, find the bookmark, click on it. You wait… Wait more… Why is nothing happening? After some time the terrible truth is revealed: Error 404, page not found. Despair, all those hours that you could have spent having fun instead of working are evaporating in front your eyes, annihilated by three numbers: 4 — 0 — 4.
Ever been in this situation? I have, many times.
Pinboard, a minimalist social bookmarking service by Maciej Ceglowski and Peter Gadjokov (one of the co-founders of delicious), tries to solve this problem. Their service that launched in late 2009 allows you to automatically store a copy of all the pages that you bookmark. Even if the original site goes offline, or the page is removed, you can still find the information in your Pinboard’s cache. The service, priced $25 per year, is not dirt cheap, but can be quite useful at times; moreover, whatever amount you paid to subscribe to Pinboard in the first place, is deducted from the first payment (there is a one-time subscription fee, depending on the current number of users; this fee is now around $6 and allows Pinboard to remain ad-free).
There are alternatives to achieve the same result: you could store the page in Evernote or some other free storage service, print the pages to PDF files, but nothing is quite as simple as Pinboard; you just activate the service, and forget it. Your old bookmarks, which you can import from Delicious, or your local browser, are stored as well. Moreover, you have the option to automatically import and store all new URLs that you publish on Delicious, Twitter, Instapaper, Google Reader, and other services.
As for all social web sites, there are privacy concerns: if you activate all options, a good chunk of your browsing and sharing habits will be stored on Pinboard’s servers. But then again, I believe that privacy is becoming more and more of an anachronistic word…