Six Lines

Pinboard vs. Urchin

Posted by Aaron Massey on 12 Jun 2011.

Accurate bookmarks work best with a single canonical URL for any given page on the web, but analytics (given only a URL) work best if you either 1) mask your url with a shortener, like, or 2) add tracking parameters, like Urchin. Looks like Pinboard is going to take them both on for the sake of decent bookmarking:

Today I finally started stripping utm_* query parameters from all URLs arriving in Pinboard. They create needless URL bloat, erode user privacy, make it more difficult to identify duplicate content, and benefit ad publishers at the expense of everyone else. Out they go!


Soon: death to URL shorteners!

Of course, the ironic part of this is that since Pinboard itself is a third-party, you have to trust that they will protect the privacy of your stored bookmarks. Too bad this feature isn’t built in to browser-based bookmarking…

(Note: I’m ignoring Hashbangs in URLs because, although they are controversial for bookmarking, they aren’t explicitly used as tracking features.)