Sunday, February 28, 2010

Xmarks Helps Recover Stolen Laptop

laptop_recoveryAn Xmarks user in the United Kingdom shared a fascinating customer story with us. The story begins with an unfortunate home break-in where one of the stolen items includes a laptop. This user performed an impressive bit of technical analysis, including a supporting role played by Xmarks (BYOS version), that led to the tracking and recovery of the laptop. You can read all the geeky details here!

Just another day in the life of the Xmarks laptop recovery, I mean bookmark sync service. ;-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Xmarks v3.5 for Firefox Coming Soon

Here's a sneak preview of two feature enhancements coming soon to the Firefox version of Xmarks Sync.

1. Smarter Search Gets a Lot Smarter

stars_stripes

We first launched our Smarter Search feature back in April 2009 – automatically placing an info icon next to the three most-bookmarked sites on your Google search results page. We're proud to announce a new and improved Smarter Search, which we affectionately call "stars and stripes". Smarter Search now displays more useful information about the websites on your Google page:




  • "stars" show you the average rating for a site across the entire Xmarks user community.

  • "stripes" tell you how a site ranks within its most popular topic, based on the one billion bookmarks managed by Xmarks.


We've been testing this new feature with over 200,000 Xmarks users and so far the feedback has been very positive. But if you'd like to turn the feature off, it's easy. Just un-check "Enable Smarter Search" in the Discovery Pane of your Xmarks Settings dialog:

smartersearch_options

Combined with new ways for you to create your own site reviews, we’re excited about our new approach to web search. It will bring people-powered web site ratings and reviews directly to you, helping you search safer and smarter.

Try it out and tell us what you think! We'd love to hear your feedback.

2. New Ways to Review Sites, and Share Your Reviews on Facebook

Thanks to all the Xmarks users creating site ratings and reviews when you bookmark in Firefox. We’re seeing lots of reviews pour in, and that’s helping every Xmarks user get people-powered site reviews every time they search. In version 3.5, we’re making it even easier to create a site review simply by clicking on a row of stars in the bottom right corner of your browser:

review_stars

Once you click on a star rating, you'll have the option to write a brief review and share your thoughts, positive or negative, about the site you’re on. Checking the “Share this review” box will automatically post your review to your stream on Facebook. The first time you do this you’ll need to link your Facebook account with Xmarks – after that you can share in just one click.

share_reviews

Just like Smarter Search, we’ve made it straightforward to disable this feature. Simply right-click and uncheck "Show Status Bar Stars" in the menu.
disable-site-ratings

We hope you’ll give this a try and rate some of your favorite sites – you’ll help millions of other Xmarks users discover the best sites on the Web.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Experimental Feature: Search Within Bookmark Folders

One of the things we're working on here at Xmarks is an easy way to search across all the sites within a folder of bookmarks. Our first step is an experimental feature we've added to shared folders - folders of bookmarks that have been explicitly made public via my.xmarks.com.

Starting today, you can use Google to search the sites you've bookmarked using the search box on each shared folder page. The search box appears automatically for any Xmarks shared folders. Here's an example of a shared folder of sites about Movies:

Shared Folder Search

Searching within this folder delivers Google results *only* from the web sites bookmarked in that folder. Here's an example search within the Movie folder:

Movie Search Results

You can try this with one of your own bookmark folders by turning on sharing at my.xmarks.com. Just log in with your Xmarks account, click on the folder you want to share, and click the "Share" button in the toolbar. This will give you a URL for a searchable web page for that shared folder, like this:

Folder Sharing

We think this adds a whole new dimension to bookmarks and creates some interesting new uses for bookmark folders. Where do we go from here? Should this search feature be part of your bookmark folders within the browser?

You can help by trying out bookmark folder search and answering this quick three question survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VN8QSS8

Thanks!
James