The goal: A nice, simple categorized Start Page to act as my portal to best sites, daily special, important chores, my main bookmarks. A Start Page that acts like a bit of a reminder system, and lets me open up say .. DonationCoder, FreewareGenius, Wilders, BitsDuJour, and GiveawayoftheDay in one small categorized group. (Even if it is five clicks). Or make a small category for my software support forums. Or this, and that, and the other.
Much as I like using Linkman for bookmarks and PIM, and it is the repository for tens of thousands of links, a personal start page with categories of bookmarks would be very nice. (Linkman has Fastlinks and Daily links features, it would be great if they expanded their functionality to a categorized start page !) So I checked to see what software or web services are available, either on a host or a program that puts the page on your on puter.
There are tons of social bookmarking and portal sites that do stuff like this, yet they tend to do it in a clumsy, bulky manner. However maybe one of them can do the job nicely, if you think this can be accomplished with a site like Symbaloo, Netvouz, NetVibes, iGoogle, My Yahoo, myAOL, Diigo/Furl, Flyapp, Eskobo, linkagogo, Homepage Startup, Pageflakes, Only2Clicks, StartAid, Tizmos, Zimbio, Webwag, Widgetop, Backflip, 3x3Links, or another .. or one of the Firefox extensions like Speed Dial or FastDial or Auto Dial or XMarks .. please share away ! (There should be more than the 9 links on the front page that you will get by those looking like the Opera implementation.) Some like Symbaloo or Netvouz may have a clean, neat, easy-to-make category-oriented skin, however I haven't seen it yet in a quick net-browse.
If you simply want to group the "big 50" or 100 or so bookmarks (the ones you glance at daily or frequently) .. and then occasionally make some additions or add or a new category .. they are of little help, at least what I have seen so far. Oh, importing is not the issue for me, I only want the frequently used bookmarks set up in a special order. An hour or two setup is expected, but should be quick and relatively painless.
And clearly you could build your own page, that might be the ultimate solution.
However you would like to use a service that built in a lot of niceties. e.g. If your page could have sub-pages (at least one level would be very helpful) if sections could be moved from page to page, if there could be a read-only method for visitors that you could send a link to, if the note function is good, stuff like that, it would help.
Linkshelf http://www.linkshelf.com/ was mentioned on DonationCoder in 2006, and its entry methods are decent.
This site lets you make fairly quickly a clean categorized list, however it lacks a lot of niceties and nothing is happening with it for years, as far as I can tell. Oh, you could set up a second level with an alternate sign-on, a bit of a workaround.
And, when I tried to figger out where it came from and what it was doing, one site mentions how it comes from a pedigree of a developer who did similar stuff in the porn world. Making privacy polices problematic (this is hosted by linkshelf) and being a real strain and pain in general to my way of thinking, even if there is no functional connection.
Favoor has similar functions:
However it also has not gone anywhere for years, is less helpful than Linkshelf in some ways, looks as dull as possible and is close to being a nothing. It does add a sticky note function not in Linkshelf, one of the few features that would be nice to have integrated but can be done in NoteZilla or Stickeis. I think I may have ended up with someone elses Favoor and when I went into a page to check who is the sign-on I got program warning messages with my "change my settings" on the page. This is going nowhere.
Switching to programs that you install, local management, in these cases the resulting page is on your hard disk, although note the note about pop-ups that were in Tidy Favorites.
Tidy Favorites is more active, with GAOTD and Bits, with Free and Pro (paid) versions.
Tidy Favorites (Nov 2008)
Tidy Favorites Is a Customizable Thumbnail Homepage
Giveaway of the Day - Tidy Favorites Pro - April 27, 2009
I haven't installed it to look at the skins, to see if there is something really tidy and neat available with categories. If someone has a picture of this working in a real tidy fashion (looking a bit like Linkshelf in simplicity) then I would likely give it a buzz. However it seems to be more of an alternate bookmark manager (which I do not need) than a clean home page maker. And apparently they are hoping to have subscribers paying $20/yr. (Not a deal-breaker if the program is fantabulous.)
The Favorite Start Page - Gudbrand Eggen
While this goes back to 2003, compatibility updates are common, including Firefox 3 in 2008.
File Forum (with pic)
So far this is my leader, ready to go. Far from super-elegant, yet functional. Being on the disk will help speed.
Your suggestions ?