Posted on 23 December 2007.
The truth is, there really isn’t any need to use bookmarks in the traditional sense anymore. I, like many of you, use multiple computers for various reasons. I have one at work, one at home, a laptop, a MAC a PC, etc… and 95% of the time you can find a browser window open. So how do I keep from going insane trying to keep all my browser bookmarks in sync? Sure I can export my bookmarks to a file, copy them to a USB drive, and import them on every computer I use. No thanks, there has got to be a better way, and there is.
The use of online bookmarks has revolutionized the way I work, and it can do the same for you. As long as I can browse the web, I’ll have access to all my bookmarks in an organized and easy to use interface. No longer will I use the bookmark this feature of my browser, there are much better tools. Follow me to bookmark ease.
The URL http://del.icio.us is a bit hard to remember and type correctly. I suggest the following tip. Remember “del.” – like the computer company with one “l”, easy right. Then “.us” – so now you have the front and the back of the URL “del. .us”. Say out the rest – “I see I owe” – icio. —-> del.icio.us
Now that we have that down, we can discuss the features of del.icio.us. Once your create a free del.icio.us account, you can submit a website URL to be listed under your account – once submitted it is now a Del.icio.us Bookmark. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we need to understand an important concept – Tags.
Tags are a way to categorize your bookmarks without the use of traditional folders or hierarchies. You can tag things multiple times and tags can be any words you wish. When you go through the process of submitting a URL to del.icio.us you will be asked for how to “tag” the entry. Just tags things with words that are meaningful to you. A few of my tags include: “movies”, “tv”, “books”, “iPod”, “scifi”, “programming”, and the list goes on. Here is an example of how I might tag a website URL that reviews books. It makes sense to tag the entry as “books”. Maybe that site is specific to science fiction; I would tag the site as “books” and “SciFi”. Maybe I will even add a new tag called “reviews”. Because tags are created at the time of submission, there is no limit to the number of tags an entry can have.
Once you have bookmarked sites on del.icio.us, you can view all your bookmarks when you sign into you account. You will see a list of tags on the right. The default view is as a list, but many people prefer the “cloud” view.
Click on any of the tags to get a list of sites that you have bookmarked as that tag name. Don’t forget to also look at the “related tags” that will now be available if you have tagged any items with multiple words.
Del.icio.us also allows you to “Bundled Tag”. This allows you to put tags in categories for further organization.
Submitting sites to del.icio.us is fairly simple. Follow this link http://del.icio.us/help/buttons to get bookmarklets for you browser. Just click on the “post to del.icio.us” button to submit the site you are on to your del.icio.us account. These bookmarklets are great, but I must recommend the Firefox Del.icio.us extension. For those of you using Firefox, I cannot stress how well this extension integrates with your del.icio.us account. The extension can be found at http://del.icio.us/help/firefox/extensionnew and once installed will place a couple of small icons next to Firefox’s address bar. Give it a try; I’m sure you will find it useful.
Del.icio.us also allows you to import your bookmarks from your browsers and will attempt to assign them the most popular tags. This is a great feature and will save you a lot of time. The import feature even detects duplicates and will ignore them for the import if you choose.
Del.icio.us is also a site/bookmark sharing site. You’ll notice that all your bookmarks are located at http://del.icio.us/youraccountname. You can send this link to your friends, and every entry you have “shared” will be visible to them. How about sending them a link for just specific tags. You can send them http://del.icio.us/youraccountname/art. Everything you have tagged as art is under that URL. And if you have friends on del.icio.us, you can add them to your network and submit sites to their del.icio.us account.
Del.icio.us has changed the way I will use bookmarks. I no longer have to worry about folders or trying to sync multiple browsers. The info above is just a small portion of what del.icio.us offers. What do you use del.icio.us for? Any tips or suggestions? What about Google bookmarks?