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September 27, 2012 / carlispina

Bookmark & Share Websites with Thumbnails on Sqworl

Sqworl LogoWhile URL shorteners and bookmarking sites abound, Sqworl offers a useful combination of features that allows users to bookmark multiple sites as a single collection and then share them with a shortened URL. To make these collections more informative and visually-engaging, each URL that is added to the collection is represented through both a thumbnail image of the website and, if desired, a short description. Once you have created a new collection, there are two ways to add URLs to it. On the collection’s main page, you may paste in the URL with a description to manually add the site to the collection. Alternatively, Sqworl also offers a bookmarklet that can be added to your browser to allow you to add websites to your collection as you are browsing the web. Once you have added the desired URLs to your collection, you can reorder them by simply dragging and dropping the thumbnail image, which makes it easy to show a natural progression through resources or to keep like resources together.

Once you have completed and shared a collection, you can also keep track of how many times it has been used from your Sqworl homepage. The analytics function also tracks how many tweets have referred to your collection. As you find other collections that you like on Sqworl, you can also follow these collections, which will automatically add them to your Sqworl homepage and make it easy to see if new resources are added to these collections. Finally, if you want to use Sqworl on the go, but don’t want to waste time (or your data plan) downloading the thumbnail images, there is also a mobile version of the site that eliminates these images.

Sqworl is a great way to create bookmark collections. I particularly like the fact that the thumbnail images give users a preview of the site before they actually click through to the URL. However, having said that, it does have a few drawbacks. Probably the biggest one, in my opinion, is the way that ads are embedded directly into collections. While these can be eliminated through a pro account (and there is special pricing for school districts), it does mean that the free version of Sqworl will include ads. Pro accounts also give users the ability to create private collections. One other minor drawback I found was that the bookmarklet did not work for every website in my experience. However, even when the bookmarklet did not work, it was easy enough to add the URL manually on the collection’s main page. Despite these minor drawbacks, I like Sqworl and would recommend trying it out. If you would like to see an example of a collection, here is one I created that brings together resources for teaching computer programming to kids.

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