Scribble Designs: Web Design Northern Ireland

Ma.gnolia Social Bookmarking

By gerardmcgarry on 17th April 2007, filed in Social Networking. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed. Tags: , ,

I’m a big fan of social bookmarking services.

Some, like are no-frills, serious bookmarking tools. Others, like Digg are places where links get submitted and community discussions form around the pages that are submitted.

But for over a year now, there’s been a social bookmarking site that beats the spartan design of and has a raft of community features to beat the likes of Digg. The site I’m referring to is ma.gnolia.

Better Design

Where sports a utilitarian design, ma.gnolia is built for comfort. Instead of being harsh and high-contrast, the design employs pastel colours and is strikingly people-centred. Virtually everything has an avatar associated with it.

Less Focus On Populists

I wouldn’t say ma.gnolia is impervious to spammers. However, it places a lot less emphasis on popularity of links which makes it less attractive than Digg or Reddit as a place to drop potential linkbait.

More Focus On Community And Discussion

There’s a little feature ma.gnolia has that I’ve never seen anywhere else – Give Thanks. No, it’s not a cue to start praying! If you see a useful link in someone else’s bookmarks, you can click a Give Thanks button and they get a little message. It’s a great social feature, and a nice way to foster community. I’ve been thanked about three times now, and I’ve thanked quite a few users myself.

The community revolves around people and groups. Needless to say, you can establish connections with individuals in the usual friend/contact list manner. You can also create or join special interest groups. That’s where all the conversation happens.

The groups basically act as forums for specific topics. You can also submit links to a group. This can be useful, because if you come across an excellent web design resource (for example), you can recommend it to the group.

RSS Features and Blog Integration

There’s a full range of RSS feeds available in ma.gnolia. You can subscribe to the bookmarks of other users, and you can also subscribe to bookmarks by tag or by group.

The easiest way to integrate your ma.gnolia bookmarks with your (WordPress) blog is to use the RSS sidebar widget. Alternatively, you can use the Postalicious plugin to scrape up your recent bookmarks and post them as an entry on your blog, which is what I do here.

Give ma.gnolia a go…

All that remains is for you to give ma.gnolia a go. If you sign up for an account, don’t forget to add me as a contact! Remember, if you’re a user transferring across, you can always import your existing bookmarks and tags.

6 Responses to “Ma.gnolia Social Bookmarking”

  1. Todd Sieling said on April 17th, 2007 at 9:07 pm :

    Wow that’s a very flattering writeup, Gerard. Thanks very much!
    You’ve put your finger on the aspects of Ma.gnolia that we’re most proud of, and that’s really encouraging. As we go forward, we’ll be working out new ways to enhance personal and collaborative knowledge-building, all as part of our secret mission to make people happier with technology that works for their lives, and not the other way around.

  2. Cesar Castro said on April 17th, 2007 at 11:34 pm :

    I feel exactly the same way Gerard. I want to thank personally on your blog for you contributions to the Social Media – Sharing your web group on Ma.gnolia. If it wasn’t for Ma.gnolia I wouldn’t have meet as many kindred social media fanactics like myself.

  3. Eugene said on April 18th, 2007 at 4:34 am :

    I like Ma.gnolia and Simpy. Both are better and prettier than Delicious couscous.

  4. Nathan S said on April 21st, 2007 at 2:14 pm :

    Interesting and convincing post, Gerard. A lot of what you say is definitely true (design is more welcoming & warm, the community more developed, etc) which are all great things.

    I used to be an avid user of and then switched over to Ma.gnolia and quite enjoyed it. Since then, however, i’ve switched back to I did so for two main reasons (one of which was my fault).

    1) It wasn’t until just recently that I figured out how to search my own bookmarks (something I do frequently). Not only that, but the process of doing it is a bit more encumbersome than it is on

    2) I don’t have loads of time to go searching for a firefox extension that does the equivalent of what’s does (not the new one, the old one where you have a button to tag a page and then another to go to your bookmarks). The one I did find, while nice, didn’t have a ‘goto my bookmarks’ button for it.

    However, having found #1 and enjoying community. I may try ma.gnolia again.

  5. Gerard McGarry said on April 21st, 2007 at 8:12 pm :

    Hi Nathan, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    I hope you decide to give ma.gnolia another try. If you do, look me up and keep in touch.

    I don’t search my bookmarks much, and if I do, it’s usually by tag. So that problem doesn’t affect me much.

    Yes, there’s a definite need for better browser integration of ma.gnolia. totally raised the bar with their bookmarks extension, and I’m watching to see what the dev team at ma.gnolia do to counter this.

    I forgot to mention the dev team at ma.gnolia – they’re a switched on crew. Special mention to Todd Sieling who has had a number of email conversations with me about ma.gnolia (and hopefully a few more to come). They’re obviously receptive to new ideas, so definitely pass your comments on.

  6. Nathan S said on April 23rd, 2007 at 4:25 am :


    I decided to take you up on your offer since I did enjoy the more cosmetic look of magnolia and would like to get more involved in some of the community features of it (thumbnails and ratings etc are nice, too).

    With that, I went ahead and spent some time to solve the issue that I had with the magnolia extension i was referring to: No FF toolbar button to take me to my magnolia page. I went ahead and added a primitive form of that. Not sure yet how to put it all into an extension but I can send it your way if you’d like.

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