Last week I started a contest with the prize being a one-years subscription to Kiplinger’s for the person who gave me the most helpful information as to what del.icio.us is and how to use it. The winning entry came from Andrew of Educating the Wheelers. Congratulations, Andrew! You won yourself a years worth of Kiplinger’s Magazine.
Here’s Andrew’s winning entry word-for-word:
Okay, so here’s the deal with del.icio.us.
First and foremost, delicious is an online bookmarking tool. Once you
create an account, you can add web bookmarks (aka “favorites” in IE)
directly in your browser. You can then access these bookmarks from
any browser on any system. For example, here’s my bookmarks:
Most of my bookmarks are related to my day job/hobby, software dev, so
don’t judge the tool by the dryness of my links. 😉
But the more relevant source of dryness is, of course, the all-text
interface. Yeah, it’s a very dry interface. That’s to keep the
page-loads very fast – and you get used to it very quickly.
But the fact that you could access my bookmarks leads us to the other
delicious coolness – it’s a “social bookmarking” tool. Everyone can
access everyone else’s bookmarks (I believe you can bookmark private
stuff, but it’s not too easy or secure). Not only can you access
everyone else’s bookmarks, but you can also discover who else has
bookmarked the same link as you, and explore their bookmarks, too.
Next is the concept of tagging. When you create a bookmark, you can
assign any number of keywords or “tags” to that bookmark. You can
then use any of those tags to re-find your bookmark, later.
Here’s all my bookmarks that have been tagged “finance”:
You can also look at what everyone else has tagged with “finance”:
Or just the most popular “finance” bookmarks:
This leads to some cool ways for finding good links, and generally
wasting a good amount of time exploring the internet.
Also, as opposed to the standard “folder-based” bookmarking model, you
don’t need to decide if a bookmark belongs in category X or category
Y. Just tag it w/ both X and Y, and move on!
Some other delicious bells and whistles:
– nifty browser plugins that make bookmarking easy:
– RSS feed for each tag/user. If you use a feed aggregator then
you can subscribe to any user’s bookmarks, any tag, etc.
The best way to take advantage of delicious is with Firefox. Just get
yourself a free “account”, and download the plugin mentioned above.
“Social tagging” is the new “it thing” on the web. Everyone seems to
be coming out with (or buying) web sites that enable social tagging
for all sorts of stuff – photos, personal ads, etc. How important is
this social tagging stuff? Dunno – it’s definitely a neat concept,
and in some cases tagging makes much more sense than folders.
-andrew (from my wife’s, Terri’s, account)