In the course of a day, you will probably save a few dozen links distributed over different web services, applications and devices. Keeping tabs on your online bookmarks can be cumbersome given the various sources and applications that you use, though. Social bookmarking service Trunk.ly can help you make better sense out of your bookmarks.

Trunk.ly calls itself a personal search engine for your links, which is rather akin to a walled-garden Google only for finding links that you, or your friends, have read. The service was launched in December 2010 amid rumors that Yahoo! was "sunsetting" popular bookmarking service Delicious. (Yahoo! confirmed this, but Delicious maintained that it will continue to run the service even after a divestment by Yahoo!)

Trunk.ly sums it up briefly:

By connecting into your social networks, Trunk.ly monitors and collects the links that you find interesting across the social web. More importantly, it indexes the web pages these links point to and builds a personal search engine, so you never have to tag or describe a link again, you just search and Trunk.ly will find it again for you.

Social Connections

The first thing that you will need to do after signing up with Trunk.ly is specify your sources. Initially, Trunkly offers four major networks from which it can import links: Twitter, Facebook, Pinboard and Delicious. Once you authorize Trunk.ly to access your account/s, the service will then import your bookmarks, and start indexing these for relevant keywords and content. Trunk.ly also lets you import data from any source that produces RSS or Atom feeds. Any content with links will also be imported.

Note that you will need to manually backup and then upload links from your Delicious accounts, as Delicious doesn't provide API access.

Trunk.ly Sources

Once you've defined your sources, Trunk.ly will bring together a list of the links you've stored so far, including Facebook likes and shares, URLs from Tweets and links from blog posts. The service will get the relevant titles of each URL linked, along with any embedded media, such as videos and audio. Links are identified with date tabs as a guide for sifting through your daily links.

What Now?

The concept behind Trunk.ly is that you should have a central place where you can look back on the things you've linked to and bookmarked before, even if you forget where exactly you saved the link. This means you won't have to look at different sources just to find that cocktail recipe you retweeted over the weekend, the business intelligence article you shared on Facebook and the interesting quote you blogged about. Use the search box to look for your desired keywords.

Trunk.ly Bookmarks

One might ask about the difference between Trunk.ly and a feed-reader such as Google Reader. While both have a search, discovery and social aspect, you can appreciate the simple and straightforward interface through which bookmarks are presented.

Perhaps the question is whether Trunk.ly will be relevant, given that users often prefer just sifting through their own bookmarks and social networks. I suppose the advantage here is the straightforward interface, and the fact that one can aggregate bookmark sources into one interface. It's worth trying out if you have links all over your social networks and blogs, and you need a personal search engine just for these.