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Magnolia screenshot.png
Type of site
Online social bookmarking
OwnerGnolia Systems
Current statusDefunct

Gnolia, named Ma.gnolia until 2009, was a social bookmarking web site with an emphasis on design, social features, and open standards. In January 2009, Gnolia lost members' bookmarks in a widely reported data loss incident.[2][3][4][5][6] It relaunched as a smaller service several months later and was ultimately shut down at the end of 2010.

Users could rate bookmarks and mark bookmarks as private. Unlike its main competitor[7] Delicious, Ma.gnolia stored snapshots of bookmarked web pages. One feature that distinguished it from other similar web sites was the group feature, which allowed several users to share a common collection of bookmarks, managed by a selected number of group managers.

The design of the web site allowed for integration of the service into other applications via both a REST API and an API similar to the Delicious API.

Open standards[edit]

Ma.gnolia supported open standards and was often among early adopters of these standards. The bookmarking service provided support for several Microformats: In July and August 2006, among other information, support for MicroID and XFN was announced on the Ma.gnolia blog.[8][9] The announcements were well received by the community around online reputation management services.[10]

In December 2007, Ma.gnolia collaborated with Engagd[11] to let users build attention profiles from their bookmarks[citation needed]. In March 2008, Ma.gnolia changed its join and sign-in pages to require users to sign up with a verified identity using OpenID.[12] In August 2008, Ma.gnolia, among others, signed the OAuth 1.0 license.[13]

M2 project[edit]

In August 2008, founder Larry Halff announced a ground-up rewrite of the service called M2.[14][15] Parts of the new version were going to be provided under an open source license. It was planned that custom installations of Ma.gnolia can be federated with other installations or the Ma.gnolia website itself. This distributed aspect was the main difference[16] from a similar project by Reddit.[17]

January 2009 total data loss[edit]

Ma.gnolia servers lost all data in a complete outage on January 30, 2009.[18] On February 17, Halff announced that due to data corruption, all user data in the database was irretrievable, rendering the site essentially dead.[19]

Ma.gnolia's Recovery Tools allowed users to recover some data from web caches and from other feeds. However, since the tools rely on external sources to reconstruct users' data, they were limited in how much data they could restore.

Relaunch and shutdown[edit]

Halff relaunched Ma.gnolia in September 2009 with basically the same software but as a small, invitation-only service.[20] After a request from Magnolia (CMS), it changed its name to Gnolia in October 2009.[21]

In September 2010, Halff announced that he was shutting down Gnolia as of September 29, 2010. "Gnolia will go into read-only mode in a week on September 29, 2010. It will then remain available for bookmark exporting until at least November 30, 2010."[22]


  1. ^ Michael Arrington (2005-10-05). "Ma.gnolia: More Social Bookmarking". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  2. ^ "Are We Safeguarding Social Data?".
  3. ^
  4. ^ Calore, Michael (2009-01-30). "Ma.gnolia Suffers Major Data Loss, Site Taken Offline". Wired. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Calore, Michael (2009-02-03). "Ma.gnolia Using FriendFeed to Restore Users' Data". Wired. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Calore, Michael (2009-01-30). "Ma.gnolia Suffers Major Data Loss, Site Taken Offline". Wired. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Larry Halff (2006-07-06). "A Small (?) Update". Ma.gnolia blog. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2008-09-29.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ Larry Halff (2006-08-21). "A Microadvance In Our Microformats". Ma.gnolia blog. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2008-09-29.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ Terrell Russell (2006-07-07). "MicroID and Ma.gnolia - working together". ClaimID. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  11. ^ Todd Sieling (2008-12-17). "Your Attention in Your Hands". Ma.gnolia blog. Archived from the original on 2008-07-20. Retrieved 2008-09-29.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. ^ Chris Messina (March 30, 2008). "Ma.gnolia moves to OpenID-only sign ups". Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  13. ^ Eran Hammer-Lahav (2008-08-26). "OAuth Licensed, a Step on the Way to the Open Web". Hueniverse. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  14. ^ Josh Lowensohn (2008-08-22). "Bookmarking service Magnolia opens up its source to all". CNET Networks. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Adam Ostrov (2008-08-22). "Ma.gnolia Goes Open Source; Wants to be the WordPress of Social Bookmarking". Mashable. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Michael Calore (2009-01-30). "Ma.gnolia Suffers Major Data Loss, Site Taken Offline". Wired blog. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
  19. ^
  20. ^ Jay Donovan (2009-09-21). "Interview: A conversation with Larry Halff about the relaunch of Ma.gnolia". CrunchGear. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  21. ^ Larry Halff (2009-10-05). "Now, By Another Name". Gnolia Blog. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2009-12-29.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. ^ Larry Halff (2010-09-22). "Gnolia Closing". Gnolia Blog. Archived from the original on 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2010-09-26.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)