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Hypertext for all | A Working Library:

Pinboard emerged in part as a response to other bookmarking services which emphasized social features at the expense of speed and privacy and which often turned out to be unreliable, or at least, subject more to the whims of corporate executives and handwavey business models than to user needs. Cegłowski neatly bypasses those problems by simply charging for his bookmarking service, and preventing it from scaling beyond his control by raising that price as the user base increases.

One of Pinboard’s best features is its archiving tool: for an additional fee, Pinboard will crawl all your bookmarks and cache the pages. Then, when those pages 404 (alas, like all things, most web pages die eventually), you still have the cache. It’s like having a personal Wayback Machine.

Like the Wayback Machine, weird things sometimes happen: as I click through my cached bookmarks, I see a lot of fucked up web pages. Sometimes styles don’t get completely or correctly cached, so page layout can be lost. Images often break. You can forget about video. Any page that depends on JavaScript is a dead end. But lots of web pages are, at base, just a bunch of markup and text, and there the archiving works swimmingly—easily capturing and storing tiny bits for later retrieval.

Which brings me back to Cegłowski’s directive to “preserve the web as the hypertext medium that it is”: is hypertext constrained to text?

Pinboard is great, as is the philosophy behind it. The rest of this post expands upon the ideas embedded in Pinboard and dives into what we mean when we talk about text, the web, and writing.