I showed Kate how to setup and use del.icio.us the other day, then there was a question about it on the FastCompany - Vancouver Company of Friends mailing list, and I realized that most of the people I deal with just know what it is, so I’ve never really written about it.
So, here’s something I sent along to the CoF list.
Del.icio.us is known as a “social bookmarking tool”. For starters, you can sign up for an account and then store all your bookmarks there. Why would you want to do that? Well, here are a couple of reasons:
- it’s an easy, central place that you can get to from any computer
- you can use simple tag-based categories to organize your bookmarks
- you can socially/collaboratively use tags (by, e.g. all using “vancouvercof”) to gather a list of shared resources
For users that have “drunk the kool-aid”, you can subscribe to RSS feeds of tags (e.g. get notified when someone tags a web page with “vancouvercof” or even users (e.g. I want to keep track of what Peter is thinking about, so I subscribe to his links).
(Peter Rees had set up a Vancouver CoF user account on del.icio.us and was using some advanced, subscribe-to-other-users stuff that I’ll cover some other time)
As I used in my examples above, a best practice (or maybe just easier) would actually be to agree on a shared tag – like “vancouvercof”. I’ve tagged one item with this just now, and you can see all my Vancouver CoF links here: http://del.icio.us/borismann/vancouvercof
Now here comes the collaborative part. Anyone else that creates an account can also tag their links with “vancouvercof”, and it will show up on the global page for this tag: http://del.icio.us/tag/vancouvercof
This ends a little abruptly, but consider this part 1 of bookmarks. I need to go and experiment with some of the other online tools and desktop apps that tie into them.