Evaluating Spurl.net


The Spurl bar





About Spurl.net

Evaluating Spurl.net

Tell me this once again: What is Spurl.net?

Spurl.net is an advanced bookmark service that allows you to easily keep track of all the information you consume online.

In addition to storing the links and titles as the bookmarks or favorites in your browser do, Spurl.net:

  • ...allows you to store a lot of additional information about the page, including a copy of the page as it was when you read it.
  • ...enables you to do a Google-style, full-text search of all the pages you've ever spurled.
  • ...makes your bookmarks and stored pages accessible from any computer, at home, at work or at school.
  • ...allows you to benefit from the efforts of other Spurl.net users by providing you with recommendations, links to related pages and the possibility to search pages that others have spurled as well.
  • ...makes it easy to include a list of "Things I've come across" on your blog or web site.
  • ...and much, much more.


What have other people been saying about Spurl.net?

Spurl.net has caught the attention of many bloggers, journalists and pundits, many of whom have become regluar users of Spurl. We try to keep track of all that is said about Spurl.net here.

The lost work argument

Many of us spend a lot of time at work, as well as during our free time, surfing the Web for information or as a form of entertainment. Our information consumption varies widely from person to person, from a few minutes a day up to a dozen hours or even more!

Interestingly - up until now - tools to keep track of this consumption have been largely missing. This meant that, even though the information was useful and served it purpose at the time, we did not benefit from the hard work we’d already done when we later had to search for the same or similar information again. In that sense, a lot of valuable work is lost. By using Spurl you can make sure this does not happen again, benefiting you (and even others) years from now.

For an indication of how much work you've done online, use the calculator below. The results are likely to amaze you...

When did you start using the Web?

On average, how many web pages do you visit per day?
Note: EVERY news item, blog entry, sub-page on a company or organization website and visited search result counts.

How many minutes on average do you think you use reading a web page?

The "Where was that article I read..." argument

Have you ever spent painful minutes or even hours trying to re-locate an article, statistic, programming tip, joke or other vital information that you found the other day? Google refuses to turn it up, the history list in your browser is crap and even if you bookmarked it you wouldn't remember the folder you put it in.

You haven’t? Ok, well read the other arguments then ;-)

If you do know this feeling, we can guarantee it won't happen again once you start using Spurl.net. Full text searching of the information that has passed through your brain in the past is a wonderful feeling, almost like plugging a few megabytes of additional RAM into your head.


The "Traditional bookmarks suck" argument

Traditional bookmarks suck.


The linkrot argument

Linkrot is an ever increasing problem. It happens when the information you once found is no longer at the same URL. Chances are good that it’s not even to be found on the Web anymore. In these cases, saving only the URL - as most bookmarking services do - is of little help.

Spurl.net stores a copy of your page as it was when you first read it, so even if the link rots - it doesn't matter. Your copy is safely stored and you'll be able to look it up whenever you need it.

Will Spurl.net remain a free service?

Yes. We will continue to develop Spurl.net in order to make it the best bookmark manager / link swapping service around and as such it will always remain free for personal use.


Then how can Spurl.net cover its costs?

Spurl.net's core business is in mining information about the World Wide Web from our databases. Note that it is information about Web pages in the database, NOT about the Spurl.net users, whose privacy we respect greatly (see our Privacy policy).

The information we mine includes web site popularity lists, relationships between pages and sites spurled by users with similar interests and how users describe and categorize these pages. This is of most importance when you consider that users communicate in different languages, have many different viewpoints, and search for information for a wide variety of reasons. Among the customers for such information are search engine companies, web page directories and other professional web sites and services that can benefit from a unique source of human information about the Web.

For this reason, we can provide you with the best online bookmark manager on the market and you only pay for it by allowing us to aggregate information on how you, and thousands of other Spurl.net users behave on the Web.

Don’t hesitate to contact [email protected] for more information if you have any questions, concerns or ideas on this topic.


Is my data safe? What if Spurl.net goes belly-up?

All the data that is stored on our servers is backed up daily and stored in multiple locations.

In our opinion, the information and data you store on our server is your property. Therefore we are trying to put you in control of it as much as possible. You can already download all your spurls as a bookmark file to your computer and store them yourself. More export options will be available soon, allowing you to download all the information stored with your spurls, including the copy of the page.

Spurl.net is owned and operated by Spurl ehf., a privately held company in Reykjavik, Iceland. Our financial situation is in good shape and operating costs are moderate. If at any time foresee a change in that situation we will inform our users well in advance and provide means for exporting all your data from our servers.


Will Spurl.net remain spyware and pop-up free?

Yes it will. We run non-distinctive ads on some of the public pages, but will not run ads on any of the pages that show your private information (such as your bookmarks, settings or link details).


How does Spurl.net protect the privacy of its users?

Spurl.net takes great care to preserve users' privacy and will not ask for, sell or give any personal or identifiable information about its users to third parties. Spurl.net continuously extracts various information from its database such as hot-lists of popular web sites. This information is only taken from the database as a whole (in an aggregated form), not from data on individual users.

For further information see our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


What are the limitations in terms of number of pages, total size, etc.?

You are free to store as many pages as you want in you Spurl.net account. There is however a 250Kb limit to the size of the code on a web page that you can index for full text searching. Very few web pages surpass this limit.


What is your policy on explicit material?

As Spurl.net is a totally anonymous service, we reserve every right to remove any link without warning or reason. The general rule however is that as long as the material is legal, it is allowed.

Spurl.net includes site-wide adult filters, so that only those that are interested will be able to see explicit material.

If you've found material that you think does not belong here or is wrongly marked as 'Non explicit', please contact [email protected] and let us know.


What pages should I spurl?
It is of course entirely up to you what you save, but as a rule of thumb, many users have found it best to simply spurl whatever they come across and think they may ever want to look up again, making Spurl.net a record of all the interesting things they've found online rather than merely a replacement for traditional browser bookmarks.


What browsers can I use?
Spurl.net currently supports Internet Explorer, Opera, Mozilla/Firefox, Netscape and Safari across Windows, Linux and MacOS.

How Spurl appears to a user depends on the browser-OS combinatinon on the machine in use.

Please direct any browser-related queries to [email protected].


I need to change my Spurl.net setup or set Spurl.net up on a new computer
Go to the Setup page and follow the instructions for your browser and operating system setup.

The Spurl bar

What is the "Spurl bar"?

The Spurl bar is a sidebar that sits in your browser and allows quick access to your spurls from right within the browser window. You can quickly hide and reopen the Spurl bar in order to make the most of your browsing experience.

The spurl bar works with Internet Explorer, Opera and Mozilla browsers (Firefox, Netscape, ...). If you do not have the Spurl bar installed, go to Settings/Setup and follow the instructions for your browser type.


How does the Spurl bar work?

The Spurl bar is actually a simple web page that sits in a sidebar frame within your browser. To open the Spurl bar, click the Spurl bar button. In Internet Explorer, the button shows a picture of a browser window and is located in the 'Navigation bar' (next to the back and home buttons):

In other browsers it is located in the 'Personal bar' (Opera) or the 'Personal toolbar folder' (Firefox).

If you can't find it, please refer to the troubleshooting section.

The spurl bar has five tabs that provide quick acces to the core functions of Spurl.net:

  • My most used: This tab contains three lists providing quick access to the pages you're most likely to want, namely your all-time most used pages, the pages you've most recently visited through Spurl and your most recently spurled pages.
  • My spurls: This tab shows a tree-view of all your spurl categories and the pages within them. You can open the folders by clicking the plus sign next to the folder icon and thereby browser to the page you're looking for.
  • Recom(mendations): This tab shows the pages Spurl.net recommends to you based on the pages that you have already spurled.
  • Hot now: This tab lists pages that have been spurled recently by the most users, thereby giving an indication of what's "hot" in the Spurl community.
  • Just in: This list shows the pages most recently spurled by the users of Spurl.net

Clicking the info icon in front of a link in any of the Spurl bar lists will open a page with details on that page and access to several different actions you can perform on the link.


How do I put Spurl.net lists on my blog or web page?
There are several ways to do this. The easiest one is the "javascript include". On every list you'll find on the Spurl.net website there is a blue JS icon ( ) in the top right corner. Clicking this icon will open a page that allows you to configure the display of the list in question. The page has a description of the meaning of each configuration item and a single line of code that you can include in your web page, blog or wherever you want to display the list. It will always be up to date and you won't have to think about it anymore.

For the more advanced of you, you can also use the RSS or Atom feeds (see next question) to do pretty much whatever you want with the list.

Are there RSS / Atoms feeds with Spurl.net lists?
Yes. The red XML and the bluegreen Atom icons ( and ) in the top right corner of every list link to the respective feed for that list.


Spurl.net is cool! Can I help with its development?
There is a range of ways you can help us, either by participating directly in the development, creating Spurl.net addons or helping us in promoting, writing tutorials, and helping new users getting started.

We have a long list of things that need to be done and innovative ways to give helpers and contributors incentive for doing so. If you have a specific idea or would like to help with the things we've already planned, please contact [email protected].


Is there an API I can use to integrate Spurl.net with my own applications?
Yes there is. And we'll be glad to assist you with the integration. Contact [email protected] for further information.

Applications already integrated with Spurl.net include:

- Hexia.net: an easy to use blogging and instant web management tool.

What do I need to do to get the API specifications?
Drop us a line at [email protected] and tell us briefly what you plan to do. We'll get back to you with instructions and you could have your Spurl.net integrated application running within hours (or minutes depending on your coding skills :-)



How are the recommendations calculated?
As we are tweaking the collaborative filtering machanism to give the best possible results, there is no definite answer to this question.

Generally speaking Spurl finds the users that have spurled similar pages as you have and aggregates other links that they have spurled.


How are related pages calculated?
In a similar way, this is continuously under improvement. Currently it relies mostly on the fact that the same users have spurled the pages and the categorization and tagging they have applied to that page. Other factors may start to count later on.

What does "spurl" mean anyway?
Nothing. The idea originally comes from Frost, co-founder of Spurl.net, from the phrase "special url".

Within Spurl.net however, the term "spurl" has gradually gotten two meanings:

  1. As a verb: To "spurl" a page means storing it / bookmarking to ones' Spurl.net account.
  2. As a noun: A "spurl" is a link / bookmark / page stored in Spurl.net.


I am a new user and I don't know how to begin

A good place to start is the Getting started guide. If you still have questions, the Spurl.net user forums can be of very useful. You can also contact [email protected] with any question and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.


I'm using Internet Explorer and I can't see the Spurl! or Spurl bar buttons

There are three common reasons fo this happening:

  • Make sure you've registered and gone through the setup process. If you've already registered but think you may have missed a step in the setup, go here and follow the instructions.
  • You have completed the setup but still haven't restarted the browser. You must close all instances of Internet Explorer and open the browser again before the button appears.
  • If the buttons still haven't appeared, the most likely reason is that you have customized the appearance of your 'Standard buttons' bar. To display the Spurl buttons:
    1. Go to View > Toolbars > Customize...
    2. Locate the Spurl! and Spurl bar buttons in the left-hand pane, select them one at a time and click "Add" to move them to the right-hand pane.
    3. Click close - the buttons should have appeared, in the Standard buttons bar, right next to the Back, Home, etc. buttons.

If none of the above seems to work, please write a support note to the user forums or send an email to [email protected] detailing your problem.


The Spurl bar doesn't open

In Internet Explorer, especially on Windows XP, setting up the Spurl bar sometimes requires rebooting the machine before the Spurl bar button works (blame that on Mr. Bill). If that's what's bothering you, simply click here to temporarily open the Spurl bar for this browsing session, and you can start using it right away.


The Spurl window doesn't open when I click the Spurl! button / link. What is wrong?
This could be happening for two main reasons:

  1. Sometimes you have to click somewhere on the page before clicking the Spurl! button link in order for it to work.
  2. Pop-up blockers such as Pop-Up Stopper and the one that comes with Google Toolbar can block the spurl.net window. If you have a pop-up blocker, refer to its documentation to see how to allow the pop-up (e.g. holding down Ctrl whilst clicking, for the Google Toolbar).


I need to change my Spurl.net setup or set Spurl.net up on a new computer

Go to the Setup page and follow the instructions for your browser and operating system setup.


My filter is set to "Safe" and yet there is explicit material in my list. Why?
This happens when nobody has marked the content as explicit. If you see something in your list that should be filtered, please drop a mail to [email protected] with the url of the link.


I uploaded my bookmarks to Spurl.net and they still haven't appeared
When you upload your bookmarks, it may take up to 24 hours for them to appear in your Spurl.net account. If more than 24 hours has passed since you uploaded your bookmarks, please contact us at [email protected].


I've found a bug. How do I report it?
We want to know of any bugs or unexpected behavior you encounter whilst using Spurl.net Use the Spurl.net user forums or send us an email at [email protected].

About Spurl.net

Who operates Spurl.net?

Spurl.net is owned and operated by Spurl ehf., a privately held company incorporated in Reykjavik, Iceland.


How do I contact you good people?

You can find contact information for every occasion on our corporate about page.


I have an idea for a feature, change or improvement on Spurl.net - what do I do?

Spurl.net has largely been built on user feedback. If you have ideas, suggestions or complaints we want to hear from you! In the Spurl.net user forums there is a category called "Feature requests & ideabox" especially for discussing these things. If you're more of a private type, you can also contact us at: [email protected].


What have other people been saying about Spurl.net?

Spurl has caught the attention of many bloggers, journalists and pundits, many of whom have become regluar users of Spurl. We try to keep track of all that is said about Spurl here.

If you know of a review or discussion about Spurl.net that is not listed, please let us know.