Today I want to share a tool that has literally changed my professional life: the online social bookmarking service called delicious. I’m active on a lot of social media sties, but delicious is one site that has dramatically improved my productivity, not just my connectivity.
But first, a caution: This blog is about just one aspect of social bookmarking. There is much more you can do with it, including driving traffic to your website. For more on that, try this link.
OK, back to basics. Delicious allows you to “tag [categorize], save, manage and share Web pages all in one place…Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.” This is not hype – it’s the truth.
Every day, I research topics related to client projects or professional interests. I visit hundreds of pages each week. Each time I find a useful one, I bookmark it by assigning one or more “tags” that describe the page’s contents. Think of the tags as virtual file folders where related information is cataloged for easy retrieval. I can also type short notes about each entry to jog my memory.
My browser bookmarks list used to be a long jumble of pages on every topic you can imagine, from flu symptoms to cloud computing. Now it’s a neat list of essential sites I visit nearly every day. The rest of the bookmarks I need are in delicious.
The result? No matter how busy I am or how much I’m searching, I never lose track of a good idea or resource on the web. Plus my paper consumption has fallen off dramatically – and being greener is always a good thing.
But why is it called “social bookmarking”? Because these bookmarks are shared. There are other social bookmarking services, but according to Wikipedia, delicious is probably the most popular, with more than five million users and over 150 million unique bookmarked URLs (though I’m sure that count has increased already).
Using delicious, you can find out what the “public” has bookmarked about any topic, from healthcare reform to Hollywood marriages. If you have that much time…I know I don’t. Instead, I use it to share specific pages or tagged groups of pages with friends and colleagues.
For example, when I was researching templates for my website, instead of sending my web guru a long list of links, I bookmarked each choice with the tag “webdesign” and added a short note about why I liked it. After giving her my delicious username, she went directly to my list and viewed each choice.
I like to imagine that delicious is a personal assistant that follows me around the web, collecting pages and immediately filing them in a logical way so I can find them again later. I’ve never felt so organized.
What about you – do you use delicious or another bookmarking site? Any tips or insights?