Ciao Ma.gnolia! (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love

In the beginning, there was Then Ma.gnolia came along like a primped and polished hussy and seduced me away. However after almost a year, I’ve freed myself from her clutches and my bookmarks and I are returning to my tasty long–lost love.

Del.icio.usJust like most people who use browser based bookmarking services, I started with I was impressed with the whole tagging thing, the wonderful way you could wander around by clicking all sorts people, tags and links, and the convenience of having my bookmarks here and there at the same time. But I never liked how it looked, and I’d always wanted a way to rate my links in the same way that you can rate you music in iTunes (yes, I’m one of those anal people who does that).

Then Zeldman wrote about the launch of Ma.gnolia. I took one look and wanted it. It looked good, it had cute little stars for rating links, and with photos and bios it gave me a feeling for the people who’re linking. Without packing my bags, I was off. And never looked back. Not at first anyway.

Ma.gnoliaSure, I’m fickle, at least with my web too oh apps. Although not deal-closers, as a designer (and anal iTunes rater type) things like a cozy design, some personality and cute little stars are convincing, especially when compared to the cold, hard minimalism that is (anything but)

But the love affair is over. Ma.gnolia is simply slow. If there’s one thing a web too oh app can’t afford to be, it’s slow. I’ve tried turning a blind eye (“But the stars are so cute! And that logo!”) but there’s no denying it, Ma.gnolia is a drag.

The most common way for me to save a bookmark is on the side: while working, writing here, reading email, &c. I need to click somewhere, type a tag or two, and be outta there. By the time the Ma.gnolia posting window even opens I’ve forgotten what it was I wanted to link. And that’s besides the fact that the script which shows my Ma.gnolia links over there in the left column quadruples the loading time for this page.

For now I’m in a transfer phase, while I immigrate links and change my WordPress code, but Ma.gnolia is definitely on the outs. It’s done, del.ici.ous bookmarks have now replaced Mag.nolia in the left column. Another plus for del.ici.ous: their linkrolls are far easier to install and more configurable than those at Mag.nolia. But as I said, I’m fickle. If anyone out there notices a marked speed upgrade over at Ma.gnolia, don’t hesitate to let me know. Maybe by then I’ll be in need of cozy again. And those stars!

Where do your bookmarks live?


  1. miklb says:

    I host my own, using scuttle. Not perfect, but serviceable, and I’m not worried about what will happen with them down the road when yahoo decides to do more with delicious.
    The down side is it’s not “social” in the sense that I can compare my bookmarks with others. I can always surf delicious if need be.

  2. as says:

    my bookmarks live on my firefox. and my firefox lives on my u3 usb stick… and my usb stick live near my hairy balls in my fancy pants

    WOOORD 😉

  3. Dave says:

    My bookmarks are synched between my macs using .Mac, very slick.

  4. Todd Sieling says:

    Hi Matt
    I’m the product manager for Ma.gnolia, so I took a lot of interest in your post here. You’re very right that we’ve had performance problems. It’s one of the most common things about Ma.gnolia that people tell us needs to be fixed, and like you, we wouldn’t stick with a service that didn’t run quickly enough.

    So I hope you’ll accept my invitation to check us out again. We’ve made some really interesting changes in the last couple days, and the results have been encouraging. We still have some new server hardware to add (we had our main server melt down a couple weeks ago, and since then have been running on one poor little database server) and some new network configuration changes to make, but right now we’re seeing good results just from application changes.

    Wow I kinda geeked out there a bit. Anyway, I hope you’ll give us a look again, and regardless of your decision we do appreciate the the time you did spend with us while we weren’t at our best.

  5. Jrock says:

    Matt –

    I signed up for Magnolia first, never used it. Just started using it now and it’s terrible slow! It’s killing me! I need fast, just because it shouldn’t be like this for bookmarks, right?? I’m going to delicious. I too love the look of Ma.gnolia (and typing the name is much easier), but I’m done.