43Marks Review

43marks startpage
Typical 43Marks startpage

The creators of 43marks call it the ‘Ultimate Homepage.’ It’s quite a claim to stake. When you really look at what’s behind this claim, you see it’s a customizable homepage with a search bar, bookmarks, and RSS feeds. Once you log in, which is a painless process even though you can’t use any of your social accounts, you’ll get a grid where you can manage lists of your bookmarks. That’s basically it. Is it enough to convince us it’s ‘the ultimate one’?

Performance

It loads fast enough because it’s completely text-based. No logo or icon insight. Naomi Klein would be proud.

Features

  • Basic bookmarking features are available.
  • RSS feed widgets and search bar seem broken.
  • Free to use.
  • Easy sharing of bookmarks by page URL.

You can access the site with any online browser, including a smartphone’s. It’s not responsive, though. What is broken remains broken.

Advantages of 43marks.com

Easy to log in. You can make lists of your favorite bookmarks. Some of them are already available. It’s fast and dirty. The technique seems a reliable javascript from the nineties.

Problems

The product seems abandoned. The business model is not clear. What happens when the entire site goes offline? It only seems a matter of time.

Final verdict

Don’t waste your time on this one. Still, if you want to return to the early days of the Internet, go right ahead. This site is a remnant of the days before CSS. Especially useful when feeling nostalgic!

Aboogy Review

Aboogy
Aboogy screenshot

With an account, you can log into Aboogy and use preset bookmarks to go to your favorite sites or add your own. This New Tab Alternative is not a bad one, even though we’ve seen better. The technology seems dated, there’s hardly any styling. It’s not even a fast site to load.

Performance

You can’t use Facebook or Google to log in, but the process is painless. You only need to confirm your inscription with your activation email. Once you’re in, you can add some new links and move them around. This doesn’t work flawlessly. All together, we can’t really endorse this product.

Features Aboogy

  • Easy login.
  • Most remarkable unique feature: inspirational quote.
  • Mostly text-based.
  • Some advertisements are present.
  • You can add bookmarklets to your bookmark bar, to send links, read later or quick save.

Compatibility

This site isn’t responsive, which makes it difficult to use on a mobile device. Logging in also took more time than we expected. Still, the fact that you see the same page on your mobile as on your desktop gives a familiar feeling.

Price

Fortunately, this service doesn’t charge any money. You can still donate some bitcoins if you want to. Is it worth trying out this service? Of course!

#9 Xmarks Review

Xmarks retired their service on May 1st, 2018. If you are looking for some useful Xmarks alternatives, click her: http://www.xmarksalternatives.com.

Xmarks screenshot from 2011
Xmarks screenshot from 2011

Once upon a time, this Firefox Add-On was the biggest player in the world. The company offered its extension for free, and since it served a clear need, everyone wanted it. Monthly downloads ran up to the 150,000’s, and the user numbers eventually reached dazzling heights of over 150 million. Amazing numbers, at the time! So where did it all go sideways? Our analysis shows at least two big problems.

Xmarks synched between desktop browsers

It started out as Foxmarks, a solution for Firefox users. In that capacity, it did what no other syncing solution managed to do: to bridge the gap between Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Not bad! But then the browser market changed (2009) and went more mobile than ever (thanks iPhone!), so the need to sync between desktop browsers decreased. People still used their desktops, but now you had to sync with handhelds too. The market splintered into many different solutions.

Wrong business model

Coming from Firefox, the Xmarks business model used to be donation-based. Very sympathetic, we have to admit this. But not very sound from a financial standpoint. So, when they decided to make the jump to a paid version, they turned to Pledgebank to make it happen. Their goal was ambitious, even though it looked like they really had the numbers. 100,000 paid customers, was their goal, to pledge 10 USD to get the party going. As they managed to get no further than 33,000, their future turned sour.

Discover death by Google

Another tricky question was the giant database of bookmarks they built, in order to sync the bookmarks of their users. What to do with this information? They decided to give back to the public, in the form of a suggested website option. It worked a bit like StumbleUpon, another now-defunct way to organize and share information online. Hit a button, and the database will suggest some interesting sites to you. It worked well, but it wasn’t really searchable. Not like Google that is.

And that’s where the big problem with the Xmarks Discover section became apparent. It looked a lot like a curate Yahoo Directory, and that was great to click through, but not so great to search in. Because people don’t search in keywords, but in questions. They look for themselves first, not for some abstract category name. And so, even though Xmarks offered a lot of high-quality websites, they didn’t have what it took to take on the highly sophisticated and intelligent algorithms of Google. They lost that fight and didn’t even get to sell their search engine.

Xmarks sold to Lastpass

So what did they do? They did what they could. Sell their service to Lastpass, a well-known password manager. The choice made sense, at least on a basic level: their service also stored personal information in the cloud and dished it out to different browsers. Still, their core business was a different one, and where people are concerned about protecting the high value of their personal passwords, they are definitely less interested in keeping their bookmarks safe. So they decided to discontinue the Xmarks brand.

And so, yet another web 2.0 app bites the dust. Time to move on. To start.me perhaps? That’s what we did!

My Way

My Way

My Way used to be a complete web portal and search engine like Yahoo!, but without any banners, pop-ups or spam. Since December 2015 the service has been disabled and replaced by another, much more simple version. Now you can use it to search Google through custom search and to click through to some key websites. It’s not a complete and customizable suit anymore, but you might want to take a look at it, none the less. 

Performance:
The loading speed of the new tab page is fast.

UX:
The company has taken a fundamental and minimalistic approach. It may work for some people, so try it out. 

Features:

  • Search bar
  • Bookmarks
  • Email

Export:
It’s not possible to export your bookmarks and feeds from your account.

Available for:
Web (all browsers)

Pricing:
Free to use.

Try My Way now!

Old My Way version, now discontinued.