I wrote about Delicious before, and I do not want to repeat myself telling you how useful I find this social bookmarking tool. However, Delicious has changed a bit in how it looks and functions since I blogged about it, so in this post I will focus on how it works now.
Delicious is a tool you can use to bookmark web pages for yourself. You can tag them with key words or phrases so that you can find them back more easily later on. In order to do this, you need to set up a Delicious account.
But even without account you can search what others have bookmarked with a certain tag. For instance, if you would want to find all bookmarked links related to the IAF Netherlands conference in 2012, you could search for the tag IAFNL12.
If you would do that, you would find the following overview in which you can see the tag you searched for, along with other tags used to bookmark these links (all underneath the links), you could see how many times these links were saved (on the left) and you could see other tags used on links tagged with IAFNL12 (column on the right). Via the arrow or a click on the link you can view the page. The plus above the arrow on the right hand side can be used to save the link for yourself – but that requires an account of course.
Another way of searching you can do without account is to search for a person. For instance, if you know that my Delicious name is suzannebakker, you can go to www.delicious.com/suzannebakker and see what links I saved.
Once you have made an account, you can start bookmarking web pages. In Firefox it looks like this in 2 steps:
And, once you have saved a link, in your own overview it will look like this:
To organise your links you can create so-called stacks. (Please note that stacks have been replaced by tag bundles, which work much the same way). You can add a link to a stack when you save it, or you can add it later on – just as you may edit everything else later on. You can add a description to a stack to let yourself and others know what the links in the stack are about, and you can easily share the link to your stack with others, for instance participants in your training who can then easily keep updated with materials related to the training as collected by you. They can decide to follow the stack so that they will know when you add a new link to it. Data on followers and views are provided. Here is what a stack could look like:
If you do not invite others to contribute to your stacks, links saved by others with similar tags will not show up in your own overview or in your stack. So for example, I have a stack with links related to IAFNL12, all tagged with IAFNL12. Others can view this stack, and others can save their own links using the same tag, IAFNL12. But if I have not invited them to contribute to my stack I will not see these bookmarked links unless I search for this tag or save the same links myself. However, if someone searches for “IAFNL12″ they will find all the links saved with this tag – both those that are in my stack and those that are not. So the fact that I have made a stack does not hinder anyone else who wants to save links or who wants to find saved links, but it does help me to have all those links organised in one place, and others can take advantage of that if they wish.
This is one of the things I like about Delicious – I can organise myself and inadvertently help others with that, while I can also get inspired by others who have bookmarked links on topics that I am interested in!
I hope this short explanation helps you get started and will enable you to get the most out of your own bookmarks and the power of the social web. Feel free to let me know if you have questions!