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Bookmarking Survey

The following are the results of a survey on how software developers approach online bookmarking. The results of this survey are available here.

The survey was taken by 74 people, three quarters of those being software developers and the remainder were professions such as UI/UX designers or people who program as a hobby. The aim was to get over 100 people to do the survey but getting a specific profession to answer a survey actually isn't the easiest thing to do. So I'm very thankful for everyone who took the time to complete it. Respondents were drawn from the following sources:

  • My personal connections,
  • Reddit (/r/startups),
  • LinkedIn,
  • Hacker News

Where each source provided roughly 25% of the respondents.

For those who just want the highlights here is a short summary of what can be taken from the data...

First of all the vast majority of people just use in-browser bookmarking features (surprise, surprise). Windows and Chrome are by far the most popular OS and browser of choice (even among this development crowd). Therefore Chrome bookmarking features are what the majority of developers use to bookmark. People who don't bookmark seem to find browser search histories and search engines sufficient – most of these people just plain don't like the idea behind using bookmarks. About 15% of respondents use cloud based bookmarking but no cloud bookmarking tool standing out as a clear favourite, although Pocket was the only one selected multiple times. There wasn't enough respondents who use cloud based bookmarking for any substantive conclusion to be made beyond that some people use them. One thing to take away is that the level of satisfaction with cloud solutions is a bit better than the in-browser ones.

The degree to which the respondents bookmark is very high and the average number of bookmarks of the respondents seems to be around the 200 mark. This indicates developers are rather prolific bookmarkers. The main feature in a bookmarking tool that respondents expect is the ability to import and export their data. To a lesser extent the ability to quickly launch certain sites is also important. There is a preference for organising bookmarks by folder as opposed to by tag; it appears the default in-browser approach is heavily ingrained in most folks! Regardless of what people use for bookmarking it is apparent that keeping control over who can't or can't see their bookmarks is vital. The concept of data privacy is therefore quite high in this space which is not unexpected.

I'd advise one to look through the survey data itself if they are interested in this kind of data. Just note that question 6 - 8 were only answered by people who don't bookmark, 9 - 12 by those who use the in-browser feature, and 13 - 16 by those who use a cloud based bookmarking tool.