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Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website belonging to Yahoo that let’s you store, share and organize yours and discover others favorite links. While this may not sound very enticing as many people can simply store their favourites on their computers, there are two main things del.icio.us gives that your locally stored bookmarks don’t. Firstly, by storing your favourites on del.icio.us server you can access them anytime from anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet. Secondly, and most importantly it provides you an access to favourites of other del.icio.us users, and there are millions of them.

What these millions of users provide to you?

When users want to store a particular URL on del.icio.us they are asked to provide tags (aka keywords) that identify this link. For instance, if you would want to save on del.icio.us the URL address of this page, you could have provided following tags: makeuseof, del.icio.us, blog, reviews or if would want to bookmark an ebay.com you could use following tags: ‘online auctions, ebay, bargain’. In addition you would have the option, to make this stored favourite either public or private. If it is private it is available only to you and no one else, if it is stored as public on the other hand then any del.icio.us user will be able to see it.

So coolest feature of del.icio.us:
In 3 years of its existence due to huge user base on del.icio.us number of stored links in their database grew enormously. Any link/favourite in this database has tags that were assigned to it by user who has submitted it. When you use search on del.icio.us to look for something as a results you get links that were tagged with same term as a search term you have used. I will try to illustrate this below with an example;

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I have searched for ‘photos’ on delicious(let me call it that way from now on), and below you can see a partial screenshot of the result I got.

By looking at the results above, you can see that the link that appears first links to yotophoto.com was tagged by the term ‘photos’ by 5129 different users and the the one that appears second linking to famous photo sharing website flickr.com was tagged with ‘photos’ by 18255 people. To put it simply, results you get are far more relavant that you would get any other search engine be it a Google or any other. However, I also observed that while delicious may produce very relavant results for popular terms it may be not so good for specialised terms(ex; nuclear physics). As delicious will grow further even very topic specific terms will become more an more relavant due to user contributions.

Some other nice features:

  • Delicious Hotlist: This feature displayed on the homepage updated every 30 minutes and shows you what is currently bookmarked most by people. This can be an ideal way to find out about some website that BUZZ about at the moment.
  • Tag Watch: This tool let’s you select a particular term of your choice , and whenever someone would bookmark something using this tag you can see it in your account.
  • By going to http://del.icio.us/tag/ you can also get a visual presentation of most popular tags currently used to bookmark links, the text size and thickness represents the relative popularity of one tag to another. Also maybe an interesting tool to play with.
  • User watch: Let’s say you had discovered one user on del.icio.us who seem to have bookmarked items that indicate that user has similar interests as yours. Then through rss(explanation below) you can track all the public submissions made by this user. You can also add this user to your network through your account interface.
  • RSS enabled: Almost every page on the delicious can be syndicated. That is to say, you can get information you are interested in from delicious website without visiting it. For that you will need to obtain any RSS reader(if you are not familiar with the concept, just search for RSS reader on google or delicious and I am sure you will find your way out.).Afterwards you simply click on the RSS icons on the delicious and save the URL address of the target page then pass this address to the reader and you get whatever the content on the page(from which you pressed RSS) on your reader.
  • Firefox plugin: There is a plugin for mozilla firefox browsers that can be used to easily store pages you are browsing to your delicious account without leaving the page. Plugin can be obtained from here

There are some more interesting stuff out there…To summarise, delicious is not only a place where you can discover cool links but also can serve a very good research tool, as a tool to find people with similar interest and discover their favourites, and as a tool that shows you what are internet users currently BUZZ about. That is mainly it for delicious, looking forward for your comments.

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