Thursday, May 20, 2010

Technology Lesson: How to Back Up Your Bookmarks

We used to have a computer that ate bookmarks. Bookmarks sometimes disappeared for no reason at all, and my mother would be forced to cobble together a poor replica of her Internet resources. I don't want you to suffer this fate, so follow my instructions to prevent disaster.

Now that you've saved your bookmarks, you might want to consider also saving the file on an external hard drive (if you saved the file on your computer). You might also want to upload the file to a social bookmarking Web site. Think of social bookmarking like Facebook or Pandora for your bookmarks. Some examples are StumbleUpon, Digg, reddit, and Delicious (previously called I use Delicious too save my bookmarks, but since I don't use it much, I keep all of my bookmarks private. (Plus, some are a little embarrassing.) You can use a site like this like Facebook, or use it as back-up storage. The main advantage, however, is interacting with other users and receiving recommendations based on your bookmarks. We will discuss these sites on greater detail on a different day.

To start the lesson, you will want to turn on your computer, connect to the Internet, and open your browser. This lesson uses Mozilla Firefox on a Mac.

1. After you have opened your browser, click BOOKMARKS. BOOKMARKS is located at the top of the screen, between HISTORY and TOOLS. (Apparently I was adjusting my volume when I took this screenshot. My apologies!)


3. A window will pick up. You can organize your bookmarks here by rearranging their order, filing them in folders, and assigning tags. At the top of this window are FIVE BUTTONS. The first two, on the far left, art arrows. The next three are related to bookmark organization and management. Click the last one. It is shaped like a star.

4. Click BACKUP.

5. A window will pop up. It will prompt you to save the file. You can rename the file and assign a location to save the file. My file is saved to the Desktop by default. You might want to consider saving your file to an external hard drive. (Don't change the extension! The extension is the letters following the "." Just don't mess with it, OK?)

6. You're done. You might want to upload your bookmarks elsewhere, or you might want to bask in the glory of having learned something new. (But if you need it, the link to a bulk upload through Delicious is here.)

Additional Resources:
Social bookmarking, Wikipedia
Import bookmarks with Delicious


Technoloy Lesson: How to Bookmark

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