One of my first forays into cloud computing was most likely with Delicious, a social bookmarking site. Again, my husband encouraged me to sign-up! Part of me was resistant, and I see a pattern, don’t you? – I’ve resisted adopting new technology, repeatedly. As so often happens, once I jump on board to trying it out, I realize the value. Just because something works “fine” as it is, doesn’t mean that there’s not room for improvement. This is exactly what I found with Delicious, an improved way for bookmarking.
Delicious essentially offers you a place to collect various websites you want to bookmark. You create a free account and will have access to your bookmarks on any computer with an Internet connection. Since it’s not located on your computer, you’ll always have access to your bookmarks. If something were to happen to your computer, your bookmarks are safe and accessible.
When you add a bookmark to your Delicious account, you create tags – or keywords so you can find the bookmark again when you need it – and as many tags as you want. Also, you can create “tag bundles” so you can group similar bookmarks together by more than just tags. Of course, you need to make sure you add tags regularly – ideally as you’re bookmarking, or at least relatively soon after creating them – otherwise it can become cluttered. I wish multiple word tags would work, but you need to include punctuation to make it work – i.e. Under_Cabinet.
Yet, those features do not cover what is the strongest feature of Delicious – the ability of sharing your bookmarks with others. Just like the social media craze; you follow other users and can see their bookmarks. I’ve created a page with resources at http://www.delicious.com/JenniferLinnig that anyone can see (or subscribe to) – from the various local places for donating, the vendors at the last two NAPO conferences I attended, and some specific items I’ve found to help various clients. You can check it out without even signing up – so go check out what I’ve bookmarked.
I also like that I can search for what others are bookmarking on various subjects – like organizing or productivity. As long as people don’t mark it as private, you can see what others are bookmarking. Often these results are more helpful than a general search using Google or Bing.
I’ve been waiting to write about Delicious; there were rumors of the demise of Delicious until last week – when it was announced that the founders of YouTube have acquired Delicious and are planning on support and improvements. One of their goals is to make it compatible again with Firefox, where you have direct access to your Delicious bookmarks and toolbar buttons for quick bookmarking options.
There are a few problems with Delicious – though I find them minor in the grand scheme of things. You have the potential for bookmarking the same site without a warning from Delicious, though some of this can be avoided by paying attention when you’re bookmarking – since if you’ve already bookmarked it, the tags and notes will be in the window. There is also no way to know if your links become broken – and as I’ve bookmarked specific product pages, those often stop working. This isn’t a Delicious problem really since it’s the website that removes a product or moves the page somewhere else on their website. It certainly would be convenient to know when those links stop working though.
Overall, Delicious is a great social bookmarking tool. You can share your bookmarks and keep them safe. I’m thrilled that the founders of YouTube have adopted them, and all of us Delicious users will continue to have access to this resource. I love how much more organized my bookmarks can be by using Delicious and therefore that much easier to find and share.