Magnolia still down, but not out

Bookmarking service Magnolia is still down, but efforts by users to grab their bookmarks using other services is proving to be successful.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Social bookmarking site Magnolia, which suffered an extensive data loss last week, has posted a new update that says attempts at restoring user data have been unsuccessful. The site continues to be offline while repairs are made--a process Magnolia founder Larry Haff tells us is still ongoing.

Since last week he's been in touch with a handful of other services that might be able to do something with the data that's left. One of those places is Diigo, where Haff is encouraging users to begin a "new collection."

Haff is also pointing users toward tools that, for some, will let them grab a portion of their bookmarks for safe keeping. Magnolia users who are also using FriendFeed can pull in previously bookmarked pages using an officially sanctioned tool that crawls that RSS feed and spits out a stream of bookmarks. However, the tool does not pull in tags or descriptions that were created by users. It also will only go so far back as to when the user had signed up with FriendFeed, a service which is a little over a year old.

A second option that's not nearly as automated as the FriendFeed tool, but can go back further is Web caching. User pages that were picked up by Google and Archive.org can let users view their bookmarks pages and copy over links they had saved. These caches have the added benefit of the tags and descriptions--the two things the FriendFeed tool can't grab. Missing, however, is the option to take the cache and turn it into a quick RSS feed, which would make it simpler to import into another service.

Another side effect of the outage is that paying premium members of the service are being refunded their money in the next two weeks. The two levels of premium membership, which cost $8 and $25 a year respectively, removed ads from Magnolia's bookmark pages and groups. Assuming the site comes back if the data is eventually restored, users might be able to sign up for the service yet again.