Some websites like Google become so ingrained in how you use the web that you almost forget they’re there. For me del.icio.us – the social bookmarking service – is one of those sites. Last week, after a very long wait, the brand new version was launched and it’s looking pretty good. The first change you’ll notice is the name – the dots are gone so del.icio.us (probably the most well known site to use the .us TLD) is now delicious.com. The visual changes can be seen in this video:
But that probably doesn’t help if you’ve never come across Delicious before, so what is it and how can it help you? Here’s how they describe themselves:
Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.
Let’s break that down a bit!
Centralised. Instead of storing bookmarks on your own computer, they are stored on Delicious’ servers so they are all available anywhere you have a connection to the internet.
Tag don’t file. Normally when you save a bookmark you put it in a folder to help you find it later. Actually, if you’re like me, you don’t put it in a folder so you have one big long list of favorites [sic] and can’t find the thing you’re looking for. Delicious is different – instead of putting it in one folder you give it one or more tags. When you come to find a bookmark later you can filter down by tags.
It’s social. This is the key part to a service like Delicious. Social bookmarking sites allow you to be part of a larger community. In a purely selfish way, this saves you time by suggesting tags that other people have used when adding a bookmark but there’s much more you can get out as well. You can build up a network of contacts and see what pages they save. You can browse by tag across your contacts or the whole community. You can recommend a page to other users by tagging it for:username.
For an overview of some of the features of Delicious, check out this video from Common Craft:
To make using Delicious even easier, check out the toolbars available for Firefox and Internet Explorer. They integrate Delicious right into the browser and mean you rarely have to visit the site – it tells you when people in your network have bookmarked pages or recommended you a link.
Another useful feature of Delicious is feeds of everything. Subscribe to what people in your network bookmark, a private feed of the pages people have tagged for:you, or if you’re feeling adventurous, how about a feed of all the bookmarks with a particular tag! This also allows you to pull information into other places such as your blog (we’ve got the latest bookmarks tagged for:ehu_webteam in the sidebar), or into the GO portal.
So sign up, start bookmarking and explorer the community! And if you really want to know what I’m interested in, my username is mikenolan.