Writing a post on social bookmarking seems like something so simple and pointless doesn’t it? It isn’t.Delicous Logo - BraveSaint

It seems this way because it’s become such a regular part of Internet life (mine anyway) that users hardly have to think twice about it. Focusing on the social bookmarking site, Delicious, I have to ask myself if I’m even using it to its full potential?

Using Delicious fits into the definition of what Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff mean when they use the term groundswell for their book. The definition I picked up from chief social media marketer for SocialFish Lindy Dreyer’s blog where she reviews the book seemed rather useful. She describes groundswell as “a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.” (Not sure if the definition is from the book or in her words!)

How does Delicious define its service?

“Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.”

Back to my original question – am I using Delicious to its full potential? Not at all.

How do I use it? Well, like I said, it’s become such a day-to-day thing and I’ve lost the ways it can actually be useful. Right now all Delicious is a replacement for the browser bookmarking option. When I first heard about this whole social bookmarking thing, I thought it was great that I could bookmark an interesting site or article and have it available to me on another computer. What a novelty!

The only thing I use other than the bookmarking option on Delicious is tagging – and I’m sure I don’t use it properly either. The tag option lets users organize their links under specific subjects so they can access different categories. If you search for something like “news” (the number one Delicious search in 2008), all the tags for that are lumped into the search and the most popular ones come to the top of the page. I tag as many of my postings as I can (mostly social media, twitter and web 2.0 – big surprise right?) but after some inspection, I’ve noticed I have far too many.

Clearly I can be more efficient with my social bookmarking. Some interesting options I’ve noticed on Delicious as I explore the site a little more are:

  • It’s more social than I thought – I’ve added friends on Delicious, but have hardly made use of what I can do to connect with them. Using the “Network” tab, I can find out what my friends are bookmarking, and if I find them interesting I can check them out and bookmark them myself.
  • Tags aren’t only useful for organizing and searches – The subscriptions tab lets me subscribe to the tags that I find most interesting. That means whenever someone tags something with “twitter” for example, Delicious would let me know in an RSS feed.
  • The sites saved don’t have to be seen by everyone – When I bookmark a site I find interesting, but say isn’t something I’d like everyone to see, I can check the “Do not share” box and it becomes a private bookmark. However, as Dave Fleet mentioned in his blog post Be Careful What You Save, if you accidentally make a link public that you wish to be private, you can do so, but it’ll still be seen on other users’ RSS feeds after the fact.

I’m pretty active online and I find a lot of interesting information from people through all the social media sites I’m on. It’s safe to say I’m listening to the groundswell and get most of what I know from non-traditional sources (though the non-traditional sources look like they’re becoming more and more traditional, but I digress).  Over the next while I’m going to try and expand my usage of Delicious, and make it more of a social tool and not just ones I post interesting links to.

If you want to add me to your network, check out my page and help me become more social!

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