Monday, May 01, 2006

IndiaGram: del.icio.us for the desis

IndiaGram is a new online bookmarking service on the lines of the popular del.icio.us service but with a focus on the Indian community. You can use it in place of del.icio.us to store your online bookmarks or, more interestingly, you can use it to keep a watch on what interesting India-related websites are bookmarked by the other people. The most recently bookmarked websites are shown on the first two pages; and there is a link that will take you to most popular bookmarks too. An added feature of this service is that you can vote for a particular bookmark if you find it interesting, acting very much like digg.com!! This in fact is the most interesting feature for me. Just like del.icio.us, it supports tagging of a bookmark with different labels, but its impressive enough to show the tags using the cloud view by default, which means a better visual idea to the users about which tags have the most number of bookmarks. A user can also opt to keep some of the bookmarks private(a feature that was added only recently to del.icio.us) or can share it only with their friends(yes, you can add your friends to your account!). So a lot of options to chose as to with whom you want to share a particular bookmark.

The registration process is as simple as it is with del.icio.us. Where as del.icio.us remembers you forever after your first login(at least if you keep visiting the website fairly regularly), IndiaGram gives you the option of remembering you for 2 weeks time. It also allows the registered users to post comments on any website that is bookmarked on it!! You can see all the recent comments posted by the users in the right sidebar. It has good help on the wiki(with a guided tour of how to do the basic things; don't believe me? see this!!) and a google group for asking questions and getting relevant support.

If you think that you would like to support this new service, you have several options with you:

  1. Get registered and start bookmarking your sites with it. Vote others' bookmarks that you find interesting. Post comments on your favourite websites that are bookmarked on the site.
  2. Add a link/badge on your website. More details on how to do it are available here.
  3. Blog about it!!(or in simple terms, spread the word about it)

Remember that its still a beta service and your use of the service and your feedback would be very helpful in improving the quality of the service in the final version.

For the techies:

I had come across an interesting open-source product called Scuttle few weeks ago(on a newsforge.com article) which does most of what del.icio.us does, and a few other things, but with the difference that you can actually install it on your own server and then use it. This allows one to think of myriad ways in which such a product can be used: bookmarking for only the internal network(employees of a company, students at a university etc), private bookmarking for a closed group(project work etc), bookmarking for a niche target. IndiaGram is one such service that uses Scuttle behind the scenes to create bookmarking service with the focus on the Indian community. Unfortunately, IndiaGram has nowhere indicated that they are making use of the Scuttle software; they shamelessly copied the about page of Scuttle and replaced their name with IndiaGram. Rakesh informs me that the Scuttle project is indeed credited at this page on the help wiki. Prakash informs me that all the changes that they(people behind IndiaGram) have made to the Scuttle code base are released back to the community in the true spirit of the Free(dom) software - a praiseworthy gesture.

This article describes Scuttle in good detail but it also contains a few mistakes(some of them corrected in the comments). A demo installation of this product runs here. If your server meets the basic requirements of Apache + PHP + MySQL, then download it and give it a try!!
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