Cool Tool of the Week: The new Delicious.
|By Delicious, twitter, friendfeed on Aug. 1, 2008||Tweet|
I’m going to come clean here. For all my social media nerdiness, I’ve never jumped on the del.icio.us bandwagon. Maybe it was the bookmarking service’s stupid name that held me back. Or the sterile interface. Or just the fact that I have too damn many bookmarks in my life already.
Well, this week, the site launched a redesign — and is even known now as plain-old Delicious. Honestly, I can’t say how wonderful the changes are, but I can use the redesign as an excuse to name an already-massively-popular service as my Cool Tool of the Week!
How it describes itself: “Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.”
How I’d describe it: A convenient place to store all the interesting stuff you find on the Internet. That way, you can come back and find it later from any computer with Internet access.
Getting started: As with almost anything I mention on here, it helps to start by making sure you’re using Firefox as your Web browser. That way, you can easily add cool little tools like, in this case, the Delicious buttons. These buttons will appear next to your Web address bar, like this:
The most important button is the one marked “Tag”. Whenever you find an article, blog post, Web site, video, etc., just click Tag, and it will save it to your Delicious account. (You can manually paste Web addresses into Delicious if you’re not using your own computer.)
That’s really it. Just start tagging things you want to hang onto. Hey, you can even start with this blog.
Why you’ll use it: I asked around to see how and why the most committed Delicious users are taking advantage of it. Here were the most common answers:
• Storage. Finding a link a second time can be borderline impossible, especially if you can’t remember much about it. Delicious lets you tag and release it, like a rare waterfowl that you can find again next season and eat at your leisure.
• Research. Whether it’s professional, academic or just for your own kicks, online research is easy to organize on Delicious. But be sure to use the note feature to remind yourself why you flagged each link.
• Teaching. Well, maybe you won’t use it this way, but I think it’s awesome that Hoover, Ala., middle school teacher Chad Brannon does. He sent me this comment via Twitter: “It is great to put all links of one topic on one page/URL! And it helps me focus the content for the kids (and me).”
Shortcomings: Even after the redesign, I find myself wishing the site layout were a little more interesting. More thumbnail images (like those they’ve already created for Flickr photos) would be nice. Also, the social networking aspect is still pretty limited, and finding your friends is a chore.
In summary: If, like me, you’ve never taken advantage of this nice little bit of organizational wizardry, now’s as good a time as any. It’s simple to get started, and with each passing hour, I find myself using it more and more.
Whether you’re an old hand at Delicious or you’re just starting out, you’re welcome to link up with me and find out what random shiny objects are catching my fancy from day to day.