Bookmarks in the Blink of an eye

Blink.com stores your bookmarks on its servers, and requires you to log in with a user name and password access system to see and edit your bookmarks. Transferring your bookmarks to Blink is simple and intuitive. You need to register first and provide some general demographic information. It's not extensive, although the Free Special Offers page that you can't avoid is annoying.

Also, the invitation to "anonymously contribute your bookmarks to the Blink Search Engine" would seem to benefit the company's marketing efforts more than its users. Blink does have an adequate privacy policy that has been reviewed by TrustE, a Web privacy-certification service.

Once you've registered, it takes just a few minutes for Blink to scan your browser (Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and AOL browsers are supported) and import your bookmarks. Blink took about 5 minutes over a 56-kilobits-per-second connection to import my 130 bookmarks, which were spread around among the main directory folder and ten subfolders.

I then logged in to the system using another computer, and all of my bookmarks were displayed in a hierarchical tree, mirroring the structure of both Netscape Navigator's and Microsoft Internet Explorer's bookmarking systems. Links can also be sorted alphabetically, by the number of times visited, or by when they were last visited.

To make adding bookmarks easier, you can drag a Blink It button onto your browser's toolbar for one-click bookmarking. Alternatively, in IE you can replace the Explorer Bar on the left side of your browser with a QuickBlink menu of your Favorites, or you can use Blink's "Surfboard," a floating, resizable window that lets you use your bookmarks (and collect new ones) from anywhere on the desktop.

You can also make your all bookmarks available to other Blink users, via the public settings, or you can share some bookmarks and keep others private. In addition, the site lets you view and add others' public bookmarks, as well as selected bookmarks submitted by celebrities, such as actress Rosanna Arquette, model Iman, and former J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf.

Share and share alike

The most interesting aspect of Blink, though, is its wireless offerings. Blink Mobile, Blink WAP, and Blink I-Mode provide access to your bookmarks from wireless handhelds, Wireless Application Protocol phones, and I-Mode phones, through a text-only interface.

Blink is useful for people on the go who need to keep track of their bookmarks at all times, over a variety of devices. As an added benefit, it can help you restore your system to its old self after a crash. While logging on to a Web site to get at your bookmarks can be tedious -- dial-up users with lots of bookmarks might experience a bit of a screen-refresh lag -- it's far better than the alternative.

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