Bookmarks are an easy way to keep track of your favorite web pages on your computer. Many of you probably have a collection of bookmarks on your home or work computers. If is the case, then you've undoubtedly run into the problem of scale: the more bookmarks you have, the more unwieldy your collection becomes. What was supposed to make things more convenient is now a disorganized, overwhelming mess.
Del.icio.us addresses this problem by putting all your bookmarks online, and allowing you to create more useful groups of links by using tags. As you may remember from the Flickr Thing, tags are descriptive keywords that allow you to define your bookmarks (or photos) as you see fit. If you tag your bookmarks well, you can build a collection of hundreds of links, and still be able to find what you want.
But that's not the only great thing about del.icio.us. Befitting the social properties of Web 2.0, del.icio.us allows you to see other users' tags, making it easier to share information and get new ideas. By checking out other people's tags, you can find new sites that cater to your interests. As you find like-minded users, you can also create "networks" and pass links to one another. With its simple interface, del.icio.us makes it easy and fun to do all of these things.
Sound confusing? It is, at first. For a more concise explanation, take a look at this sweet video, from the geniuses at Common Craft:
(If you need more assistance getting around del.icio.us, visit del.icio.us' help page.)
- Visit del.icio.us (you can also go to delicious.com).
- Look at the hotlist of popular bookmarks on the left half of the page. Take a look at some of the comments users have left by clicking on the blue "people" box. What do people find useful about the page? Do you see any patterns in the way people choose to bookmark a page?
- Look at the list of "tags to watch" on the right side of the main del.icio.us page. Click the "more" link to see the tag cloud. In this visual representation of tags, the most popular items appear in a larger font than the others. Click on a few of these tags and see what pages come up.
- Choose a website that you find useful or interesting. This can be on any topic of interest to you. Make sure you remember its web address.
- Log in to del.icio.us using the theskokieten login ("theskokieten") and password (spl+123). You will find several links that 10 Things Team found useful, as well as all of the articles that you've run into during the 10 Things program.
- Add your selected website to our del.icio.us collection by clicking the "post" button and entering the website address. Add "staffpicks" as your main tag, followed by any other tags you think might be helpful.
- Write a short blog post about your experience using del.icio.us. What tags do you think would be most useful for the Library? When you're done, bookmark your finished blog post in del.icio.us. Use the tag "testblog" and any other tags you think are appropriate.
BONUS CHALLENGE (optional)
- Create your own del.icio.us account and start adding bookmarks of your own. If you find something you think we'd enjoy, send it to us by using a "for:theskokieten" tag.
- Compare the manual method of adding links to del.icio.us with the browser buttons.