Del.icio.us is a “social” bookmarking system. You can bookmark your favorite web sites for your own, and for public viewing.
Originally, I didn’t like the idea of del.icio.us. It seemed to me, an invasion of my privacy, to think that I could have a bookmark system online, but only if everyone else could see it, too.
It tastes like an invitation to marketing – a very valuable glimpse into exactly what I’m interested in, coupled with links to other people who are interested in it, from which a very specific picture of me as a marketing target can be created. The only difference was that this was independent so far, where as A9 (Amazon’s Search engine with the same goals) is already corporately owned.
But after a few days of use, and benefitting from its easy integration into Firefox (my web browser of choice), it’s proving to be a valuable resource.
- It’s portable – I can get to it from anywhere I go
- It’s relational – the same way I like (but wouldn’t really use) Gmail’s email tagging as a sorting/filtering system, this lets me narrow down my bookmarks quickly, and cuts overhead out of creating them, too
- It’s horizon-expanding – I can see who else has bookmarked the sites I have, AND what else they’ve found. That cuts out finding things myself, because obviously lots of other people have agreed with me on something, and have their own experience to add, too
Plus, it removes an inherent problem I’ve got with browsers’ bookmark systems. A “Favorites” menu is only so big. At some point it scrolls, or you have to tediously nest things in some hierarchy you might not remember later. Sure, there’s a search system to look through it, but that’s another window to open, and honestly, I don’t remember the shortcut to do it. If I can’t remember the shortcut, I won’t use it. But if I add too many bookmarks to my list, I won’t re-visit them either – because I won’t ever sit down to go through them.
Delicious offers a cure for this – the bookmark list is a web page. It’s fast, organized, and easy to use. Now I just need to figure out how to export all my current bookmarks and favorites to it, eliminate the duplicates, and attach a brief summary to everything and I’m happy.