Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Xmarks Wins a Webware 100 Award!

We are delighted to announce that Xmarks won a 2009 Webware 100 Award in the Browsing category, along with our supported browsers Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, and Safari.

2009 Webware 100 Award WinnerThe Webware 100 is an annual prize awarded by CNET to recognize the best of the web. This year, editors at the CNET Webware website reviewed thousands of entries in 10 different categories, selected finalists, and then opened up voting to the web. CNET unveiled the winners today after a month long voting period in which 630,000 votes were cast. Click here to see our award page on Webware.

Winners of this award are chosen by real people who care enough to vote for their favorite products. We could not have won this award without the thousands of Xmarks users who voted for us, and we deeply appreciate your support -- thank you!

We are one of ten award recipients in the Browsing category. Our congratulations to the other winners: Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, Flock, Maxthon, iGoogle, and Diigo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get the Buzz on Xmarks.com

We just released a few great features on Xmarks.com. Here's the scoop:

Get the Buzz on a Site

Want to know what people are saying about a site? Visit the page for that site on Xmarks.com and click on the brand new "Buzz" tab. We'll scour Twitter and find you the most recent tweets about it. Here's an example of some recent buzz on Xmarks:

Buzz Tab and Translate Feature

Along with user reviews about web sites, we think this new Buzz Tab is a great way to see what real people are saying about any given web site in real time, for example, here's the buzz on StarTrekMovie.com. If you're a hardcore Trekkie, you might also like the Xmarks topic page on Star Trek.

Translate Text

Ever stumble across a great foreign site and wish you could learn more about it? We've added a feature to each site's page on Xmarks that translates information about the site into your browser's preferred language (see above). Click the button to translate title, description, reviews and buzz. Despite our love of Star Trek mentioned above, this feature does not yet support Klingon.

Recently Reviewed

Curious about what sites people are passionate about? We now display the most recently reviewed sites on our homepage. If you're a site owner, encourage your visitors to review your site on Xmarks.com. We'll showcase your site on our homepage for a while and send visitors your way. Visit our homepage.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our Apologies

Mitch and I are writing this post specifically to address the recent negative feedback on AMO (addons.mozilla.org) about the evolution of Foxmarks into Xmarks. We definitely made some mistakes in how we rolled out our new Discovery features and we want to apologize for those and let you know what we’re doing to fix them. Anything that negatively impacts our relationship with you is something we take seriously, especially when it’s a result of our own actions.

With the upgrade to Xmarks, we’ve added two new Discovery features into the browser. One, called “Site Info”, shows you site information and similar sites when you click on the Xmarks info icon in your location bar. The second, called “Smarter Search”, adds an info icon to three sites on Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live search results. Our “top three” is based on which sites have the largest number of bookmarks in our system.

We’ve received a wave of concerns on AMO that center on the addition of these two Discovery features and how we launched them. We clearly did not do a great job of upgrading our Foxmarks users to Xmarks and again we apologize. Here are the corrective actions we are taking based on your feedback:

  • Better communication about new features before they are introduced
    For the upgrade to Xmarks we emailed users in advance and opened a browser tab post-upgrade to explain the big changes in our product. We realize that not everyone reads this content and, for major upgrades, we may need to show a more explicit modal dialog to explain the feature and provide opt in / opt out choices.

  • Clear and easy ways for users to turn a feature off
    We plan to add a persistent, easy-to-find control to our Discovery features that gives the user one-click access to the Settings for turning these features on or off.

  • Clear explanation of what data we collect and how we use it
    We are enhancing our privacy policy and privacy FAQ to provide more concise human-readable details on what data we collect and how we utilize it in our service. You can read more details in the FAQ, but the important highlights are:

    • We never publish individual bookmark data (unless you explicitly share your bookmarks using the Xmarks “Share Folder” feature).

    • We will never sell your data to anyone.

    • We only use your bookmark data in aggregate (over half a billion bookmarks) to power our Discovery features.

    • We provide users a way to opt-out of contributing their bookmarks to our aggregation system.

  • Separate add-on for users that wish to sync with their own server
    In hindsight including own-server support in our mainstream add-on was a mistake. These two use cases are fundamentally different and own-server users suffered bugs and frequent updates that were irrelevant to them as a result. To address this we are creating a separate Firefox add-on, called Xmarks B.Y.O.S., that is a stripped-down version of our full Xmarks product. It will not contain any code that communicates with our servers and it will not include our Discovery features. This will be a product for advanced users only as it requires the user to provide their own server to host their synchronization data.

Clearly our transition to Xmarks was nowhere near as smooth as we hoped, and again we’re sorry for any trouble or distress we’ve caused. While we’re passionate about our new features and have been working on them for a long time, we also realize the evolution of Foxmarks to Xmarks represents a change that not all our users are going to embrace. We hope you’ll continue to trust us with your bookmarks and join us as an Xmarks user.


James Joaquin, CEO
Mitch Kapor, Chairman