Geeks should be gaga over the new bookmark sync tool in the latest developer channel build for Google Chrome.
For those not in the loop, bookmark sync enables users to port the same bookmarks across all of their personal computers. It also stores the bookmarks alongside Google Docs.
This is a big deal. Most people today access the Web from multiple computers and mobile devices. Users use computing devices for work and have devices for home use, and devices that they take on the road with them.
Bookmark sync, which leverages the XMPP messaging protocol Google uses for Google Talk, enables users to take all of their favorite Web places with them from machine to machine.
For now, bookmark sync is clearly for developers, as Google Chrome engineer Tim Steele wrote:
"To activate this feature, launch Google Chrome with the --enable-sync command-line flag. Once you set up sync from the Tools menu, Chrome will then upload and store your bookmarks in your Google Account. Anytime you add or change a bookmark, your changes will be sent to the cloud and immediately broadcast to all other computers for which you've activated bookmark sync."
Regular users, aka non-geeks without programming chops, will want to wait until the Chrome team releases bookmark sync to the beta channel, or even the stable channel, where it will be easier to use. It will also likely have any bugs ironed out by then.
In other bookmark sync news today, Xmarks said it is now supporting Chrome in closed alphas testing. So, yes, another bookmark feature the non-geeks likely won't be able to use for awhile.
The notion of taking data created in one machine environment, such as applications or networks and moving it to another is known as data portability. Web geeks and power users are big on this because they create a lot of data on their machines and don't want it fenced in to one program.
Data portability is a hot-button issue for heavy users of Facebook, MySpace and other social networks where users spend a lot of time consuming and sharing data.