Trunk.ly is a bookmarking tool that lets you extract links you have shared on social networks and turn them into an easily searchable archive.
If you share links to interesting content with your connections on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, retrieving these links several weeks later can be rather awkward. Let’s say you tweeted a link to an article on Twitter a month ago and want to read it again but you can’t remember where to find it. Ordinarily, you would have to drill down through your timeline to find that elusive tweet, wading through dozens or even hundreds of updates in the process. Recovering old links on other social networks can be just as difficult.
Trunk.ly solves this problem. Once you go to the site and sign up for an account (it’s free, and you can also sign in with Twitter), the resource soon goes about extracting links from your chosen social networks.
Once trunk.ly has finished extracting your social media updates, you are presented with a list of the content you have linked to, starting with the most recent item.
But if you want to find that article you shared a month ago, you can run a keyword search of your accumulated link database by using trunk.ly’s search option. In effect, trunk.ly helps you search through your own personal archive of social media bookmarks, and if you’ve been using services like Twitter for a long time then you’re bound to bring up some fascinating results.
But trunk.ly doesn’t just extract links from social networks. For example, if you use Google Reader’s social features to share articles, you can connect your Google Reader account to Trunk.ly. And if you use social bookmarking website Delicious, you can import your Delicious bookmarks into trunk.ly with the tags intact.
Even if you don’t use social networks to share links, trunk.ly works as an adequate social bookmarking system in itself. Once you have an account on the site, you can manually add links by pasting in the URL of what you would like to bookmark. You can also add tags and descriptions to the bookmark to make it easier to retrieve later.
Trunk.ly also provides a bookmarklet, which you can place within your Internet browser. Whenever you find yourself on a page you would like to bookmark, a simple click of the bookmarklet will guide you through how to add the link to Trunk.ly. Of course, if you’ve connected up your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn account and you choose to send the link to one of these services, trunk.ly will index it automatically.
Trunk.ly profiles are public by default, meaning other people can search through your accumulated links for themselves. The site does give you the option of following other users to see what they have been linking to, but at this stage there are not enough people using the service to make it worthwhile. If you would rather keep your links to yourself, you do have the option of making your profile private.
Overall, trunk.ly is a free and easy way of creating a searchable archive that guarantees you will never forget a link.
The Melbourne Press Club is on trunk.ly, so be sure to follow us if you sign up to use the service.