I’ve been recently started using Delicious, an online bookmark manager, which sets itself apart from other online bookmark services through its “social” aspect, whereby you can see what others have bookmarked and who else has bookmarked a particular site.
I like to save links to useful resources, and over time have amassed a substantial collection. What this has also meant is that my Favorites folder and sub-folders have become increasingly unmanageable as they fill up with long lists of links.
Plus, my system of categorization, never that great to begin with, is starting to come apart at the seams as I add more links.
In addition, I often work from different computers, and so having my favorites stored on one computer is less than convenient.
Enter Delicious, a web-based bookmarks manager that solves both of my problems very elegantly.
Easy Access to Bookmarks
Of course, online bookmark managers aren’t anything new. A search on Google will bring up several free services. What sets Delicious apart is the ease with which you can add a bookmark.
Simply add a bookmarklet to the links bar of your browser, and when you want to bookmark a page, click on the bookmarklet to be taken to the “create bookmark” page for your Delicious account. Once you’ve added your bookmark, you’re taken back to the page you were on.
Better Bookmark Categorization
The main problem with putting your bookmarks into folders is that they often don’t fall cleanly into a particular category. Delicious solves this problem by allowing you to add metadata to each bookmark you create rather than filing them into individual folders.
So, for example, if I want to bookmark a page that is about creating a three column layout using CSS, I might add the meta data “layout”, “css”, and “three column”. On my main Delicious page, my new bookmark is added into each of these three categories.
Of course, you still have to think a little about your choice of metadata, but it’s very straightforward to use. Plus, if I can’t find a page by looking in my categories, I can always search for it.
A Social Experience
In addition to managing your own bookmarks, when you store a page, Delicious shows you how many other people have bookmarked that page, as well as enabling you to see exactly who has, and what else they have bookmarked. This is a great way to expand your list of useful resources on a particular topic.
You can also search everyone’s bookmarks for a particular term, which, if you think about it, might be a better way to find information than using Google as you avoid all the crud that the latter usually produces in addition to the results you want.
One last point; Delicious provides an RSS feed for each of your categories, so it’s very easy to share your bookmarks on a certain topic with others.
So far, Delicious seems to be used mostly by web and IT folk (which is fine for my needs), but as it matures, it may well become more widely used. Anyway, it’s well worth checking out.