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Back May 5th, 2012 Forward
A Request for Information

Oh internet, great font of knowledge, aid me in my search for enlightenment on this subject: I wish to be able to organise and back up my bookmarks in Firefox, and also use them as a map to interesting little corners of the 'net (where "interesting" is defined as "deemed interesting by me, rather than by a social network").

Trigger: Losing 6 - 8 years worth of bookmarks in one hit due to a computer meltdown on Wednesday night. I'm busy re-creating them as I go, but I want to be able to organise them too.

What I'm using at present: At the moment, I'm using the all-in-one sidebar in Firefox, which tends to sit open to my bookmarks (a feature of Internet Explorer's that I liked and adopted). I have some bookmarks sitting loose, but the majority of them are in folders. The folders at present are all loose in the top level of the bookmarks hierarchy, but I know me, and I know eventually they will be nested. Probably anything up to six layers deep in some cases. (Finding individual bookmarks started getting slightly trying at that point, but by then it was too late to do anything about it.)

I'm also starting to use the "tags" feature of Firefox bookmarks, because I think they'll wind up helpful as a searching aid. (I have the tag searching add-on downloaded and waiting on a restart to get going).

What I Want:

* I'd like to be able to limit certain tags to a certain folder, rather than having all the tags in the wider cloud. For example, I have a folder called "Fanfiction" - I'd like to be able to have tags for specific authors, characters, fandoms and so on limited to that particular folder, rather than having to wade through them to tag something which isn't fanfiction related.
* I'd like to be able to back all of this up on a regular basis to my 1TB expansion drive, rather than having it on my computer's hard disk drive (since this is what killed my last lot of bookmarks). At present, my plans for this involve mumbling through Firefox's settings to find out where it stores this data, and manually making a copy once a month or thereabouts (ditto with my email archives - guess what else I lost in the crash), but I'd love to know whether there's something I could use to automate the process.

What I Don't Want:

* Offline backups accessed over the internet. Call me picky, but I really don't trust cloud computing at this stage - there's too many ways for my data to go walkabout.
* Having to keep at least one tab of my browser constantly reserved for bookmarks - I have the sidebar because I like being able to see them all, right there, when I want to go looking.
* Anything which tempts my tendency to fiddle with things to the detriment of actually doing anything useful (such as Pearltrees - seriously, I took one look at the description of that particular plugin, and knew it would eat not only one day but dozens of them).
* Anything which requires me to be constantly signing in somewhere else in order to access my bookmarks.
* Anything which requires a duplication of effort (i.e. I create the bookmark in Firefox, and then I have to create it again somewhere else). I want to click once to create a new bookmark (and ideally speaking, I'd love to have the option to tag things as part of the bookmarking process, rather than having to go back and alter the bookmark's properties to add them).

So, if anyone can help - either by letting me know whether this sort of thing already exists; letting me know I'm asking for the moon and a pony (or in other words, "not happening; can't happen!" stuff); offering possibilities for places to look for information, either as direct links or search terms; or failing all that, commiseration will be appreciated too.

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Back May 5th, 2012 Forward