Only 15 apps were included on the phone. There was no App Store. I could send a text, make a call, read an email, or schedule an appointment, but there was no copy and paste. I found myself watching the stock market for the first time because I could do it on my phone. There was no iCloud. To sync my data, I had to plug my iPhone into my computer. Using an iPhone was exciting because of how you did things, not because of the things you could do.
If the iPhone had a killer app, it was Safari. It put the whole Web in my pocket at blazingly fast 2G EDGE speeds. There were no iPhone optimized versions of popular websites back then. You had to wait for things to load. But for the first time in human history, the world’s largest library of information was always just a few taps away. Trivia night at the local pub suffered. People started to spend their free time staring into 3.5 inch screens. Conversations would never be the same again.
-Thomas Brand, Egg Freckles, “iPhone Turns Ten”
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.