The New Social Bookmarking Service: Postmarks
Postmarks is a user-friendly successor to the popular Web 2.0 bookmarking site del.icio.us. Unlike its predecessor, Postmarks is built for the open web and the fediverse — a collection of decentralized social networks including Mastodon, a competitor to Twitter. Developed by Portland-area web developer Casey Kolderup, this new service allows users to save their favorite links and annotate them using a web interface.
Sharing on the Fediverse
Postmarks takes it a step further by allowing users to share their links and notes not only on the platform itself, but also with other federated social networks like Mastodon and others on the fediverse. This means that users can connect with a wider audience and engage in discussions beyond just the Postmarks community.
Inspired by ActivityPub
Kolderup was inspired to create Postmarks after seeing friends develop their own projects using the ActivityPub protocol, which powers apps on the fediverse. Seeing the potential for building a social network based on an open protocol and interacting with existing communities, Kolderup set out to create a federated social bookmarking service.
Create Your Own Instance
One unique feature of Postmarks is that anyone can stand up their own “instance” using its software. This allows users to customize their web interface, add bookmarks, annotate them with descriptions, categorize them with tags, and establish associations between bookmarks.
A No-Frills Interface
Postmarks aims to offer a minimalist design reminiscent of previous bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and Pinboard. It provides a simple yet effective way for users to curate and browse their collections, while allowing others to peek into their notes and organization.
Installation and Customization
The open-source software is currently in the early stages and can be accessed on GitHub. While it requires some technical knowledge to install, the process has been simplified thanks to Glitch’s project remix feature. Additionally, because users can host Postmarks themselves, they have the freedom to modify the site according to their preferences, including changing themes, customizing the site’s appearance, or building their own bookmarks database.
The Fediverse Gains Momentum
The concept of the fediverse has gained mainstream attention in recent years with the rise of decentralized social networking platforms like Mastodon. More apps, including Medium, Flipboard, and WordPress, have also embraced the fediverse. The increasing popularity of these platforms demonstrates a growing demand for alternative social networking options outside traditional centralized networks.
A Different Approach
Although Postmarks shares similarities with popular bookmarking sites like del.icio.us and Pinboard, Kolderup emphasizes that its self-hosted nature gives users unprecedented control over their data and user experience. This level of autonomy sets Postmarks apart from its predecessors and aligns with the decentralized philosophy of the fediverse.