Created with programmers, system administrators, and web designers in mind, tlbox takes the very simple idea of saving bookmarks online. Now before you dismiss it as another one of those bookmarking websites like del.icio.us or Ma.gnolia, within minutes of using it you’ll find out it’s different enough.
How tlbox Works
tlbox integrates with Firefox (compatible up to Firefox 3). Once the add-on is installed, it appears as a dropdown menu much like your typical Bookmarks folder, except that it has a fixed set of iconized subfolders, ranging from “.net” to “xml”—basically categories that are relevant to computer geeks.
I thought this was a really great idea because previously, I was trying to organize all the web design resources I might find useful later on. I use del.icio.us for my online bookmarks, but even if I kept them neatly arranged with the help of tags, it’s became cumbersome to come back later and look them up. For example, if I wanted to look at my CSS-related bookmarks, I had to type in
del.icio.us/sofimi/css into my browser.
But I wanted to do that within my browser window quickly. I tried it out with a local bookmarks folder, but I couldn’t share them with anyone else, or take them anywhere else for that matter (discounting syncing services like Google Browser Sync).
On the web, you can check out what other users are bookmarking, arranged by popularity and recency, and add them to your own “box”.
It’s also interesting to note the use of icons corresponding to each available category. This helps improve the user experience especially since bookmarking sites are almost always filled with text.
I personally believe tlbox is a lifesaver. Unfortunately, it’s a very niche service, which means any chance of feature improvements will be slim to none, but I thought talking about it might draw in more geeks, more fans, and perhaps even potential investors! Seriously, I really wish the web gurus would take a hard look at it and see where it could improve.
The only thing that bothers me about tlbox is that when I save a site, the title of the page is truncated to 32 characters.
Rigidity vs. Flexibility
Even if its current capabilities are limited to computer-related bookmarks, it’s definitely easy to accommodate other categories. tlbox just needs to be a little more flexible. Just a little. I quickly got sold on this service exactly because it was not infinitely flexible like the tag-based bookmarking ones. I needed rigid categories in order to keep my links organized and easily discover related ones. And I believe other people might feel the same way.