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in.credulo.us
January 6, 2005 7:49 PM   Subscribe

So what's so cool about del.icio.us? I don't get it.

So it's an online bookmark system that you can share. What exactly is so cool about that? What do you use it for? What does it let you do that you couldn't do before? Why should people care who has what sites bookmarked?
posted by gyc to Computers & Internet (53 answers total)
 
1) I can access my bookmarks from home or work on different computers.
2) I can use tags to classify my bookmarks into categories.

That's why I use it.
posted by smackfu at 8:06 PM on January 6, 2005


For me, it's an interesting way to see who shares my interests. I publish my bookmarks to del.icio.us and boom! I get a neat little list of a bunch of folks who also link to those sites or articles. From there you can get a list of those users' other bookmarks. I've found some really cool stuff that way that I might not have found otherwise.
posted by LeeJay at 8:07 PM on January 6, 2005


I tend to think of it in the warm, fuzzy, "this-is-why-we-have-the-internets" way. It is simultaneously a well-designed, supereasy method of keeping track of stuff that I otherwise would have to keep track in a marginally-less-easy, poorly designed way, plus the community (-ish) factor that rounds out the experience. I started del.icio.us after the inbox feature was disabled, and I'm quite curious to see what the fuss is about that, actually, but I hope it's cool when it's re-implemented.
posted by contessa at 8:15 PM on January 6, 2005


I always viewed del.icio.us as a very streamlined MetaFilter. Links are posted, sans discussion and the most interesting links rise to the top.

Also, the web accessible bookmarks from different terminals, that's exciting.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 8:22 PM on January 6, 2005


Read this.
posted by Galvatron at 8:44 PM on January 6, 2005


The idea of tags is what makes it useful as an organization of bookmarks. No longer am I confined to putting a bookmark in a single folder.

This article was for me the best explanation of what the fuss about del.icio.us was all about.

The external posting mechanism called nutr.icio.us (linked from the above article) is an even cooler extension of del.icio.us, but unfortunately is out of service presently.

I don't think you'll completely understand it until you try it.
posted by achmorrison at 8:51 PM on January 6, 2005


Gah...too slow to type...Galvatron beat me to it.
posted by achmorrison at 8:52 PM on January 6, 2005


I didn't get it either until I read Galvatron's link a few weeks ago. Then the lightbulb went on.

You can spend hours browsing other people's links, starting from one of your own favorite obscure sites and seeing who else bookmarked it, and then looking at what else they have found, then who linked to that etc....
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:01 PM on January 6, 2005


Once you grok what del.icio.us is you'll see additional ways to use it. In addition to keeping your own bookmarks, you can keep up on what is of interest to certain people, or (as I do more often) certain topics like http://del.icio.us/tag/css.

If you have discovered the benefits of RSS readers, you can now use del.icio.us with durl. Or try a musicplasma-like search on a particular user with extisp.icio.us: example for user "freed".

It is waaay cool.
posted by spock at 9:05 PM on January 6, 2005


Interview with the del.icio.us innovator.

Another cool app making use of the del.icio.us data: oishii. (Think of it as a "what's HOT on del.icio.us" summary.)

Keep up on the latest del.icio.us stuff with del.icio.us itself!
posted by spock at 9:13 PM on January 6, 2005


As far as the keyword-tagging goes, del.ico.us is almost like a free web-based version of Powermarks, which has been my bookmark app of choice for years. The Powermarks software goes further, though, and lets you search and sort and do lots of other things to help manage bookmarks over time. It allows you to sync with a central server, too, so you can access the same bookmarks from another PC. I keep hoping to hear of someone integrating the functions of del.ico.us and Powermarks somehow.
posted by Tubes at 9:34 PM on January 6, 2005


Well, I read the guide and I signed up on del.icio.us, and I still don't get it. The interface is awful. Really, really bad. And how do a heap of other people's bookmarks give me something better than, say a Google search?

I think I'd rather just visit blogdex every so often.

As for bookmark sharing, I use A9. At least that gives me a pi/2 discount on Amazon.com
posted by krisjohn at 9:45 PM on January 6, 2005


The cascade of us all racing to be the first to tell which angles we particularly love about it should tell you something...

Durn - the pointy eared one beat me to it: "Here's what I love about it."

Ooh and I also love just watching the main feed. It's like this waterfall of transient reference needs, online velleities and obsessions.
posted by freebird at 9:46 PM on January 6, 2005


I suspect, although I haven't really explored this yet, that social tagging systems like del.icio.us can be used for things like automatic keyword news filtering.
posted by Caviar at 9:48 PM on January 6, 2005


Thanks for this question, gyc.
posted by interrobang at 9:50 PM on January 6, 2005


And how do a heap of other people's bookmarks give me something better than, say a Google search?

The same way that looking at other people's bookshelves is far more likely to turn up a lifechangingly great book that you never would have picked up yourself than ordering on Amazon.com where you can choose from every book ever.
posted by freebird at 9:55 PM on January 6, 2005


I consider del.icio.us's appeal to be very similar to Flickr's, but instead of spending time viewing organized photos (Flickr), one experiences bookmarks (del.icio.us).

One can spend MUCH too much time in either. Or both. All good fun.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:59 PM on January 6, 2005


Google searches search the entire internet (or a lot of it at least...) Delicious tag searches (del.icio.us/tag/entersearchtermhere/) search just delicious users bookmarks. With delicious searches you will not find everything but you'll find better stuff; if you search for the right tag that is.
posted by pwb503 at 10:00 PM on January 6, 2005


The other interesting thing is that the user base is very similar to us. So the links that are popular tend to be good.

That could change, of course.
posted by smackfu at 10:01 PM on January 6, 2005


One huge problem that keeps me from delicious: I don't see a way to export my bookmarks.html to delicious. I have 30-40 categories with several hundred bookmarks, even after moving dozens to my RSS reader. How can I export without spending hours moving them all by hand? Most could automatically be tagged with their folders. Then I could edit descriptions and tags at my leisure.
posted by NickDouglas at 10:18 PM on January 6, 2005


The same way that looking at other people's bookshelves is far more likely to turn up a lifechangingly great book that you never would have picked up yourself than ordering on Amazon.com where you can choose from every book ever.

Ah, there's the problem. I'm the one with the interesting bookshelves. I find my interesting books from a small number of expert or otherwise well edited professional or semi-professional sources.

I've already got a good source of interesting websites over a range of similarly expert or otherwise well edited professional or semi-professional sources.

Flickr has original content. del.icio.us doesn't even have that.

So, if I'm the source of interesting bookmarks, a crappy interface and no way to import my existing bookmarks is quite the barrier.
posted by krisjohn at 10:42 PM on January 6, 2005


Yeah. I guess delicious isn't for people as awesome as you.

So anyway, how do dorks like me move our bookmarks to it?
posted by NickDouglas at 10:57 PM on January 6, 2005


Flickr has original content. del.icio.us doesn't even have that.

Well, it does if you don't already know everything there is to know.

To me, del.icio.us is to bookmarking what smart playlists are to my music library. I can have one song in multiple places at the same time without having to do it manually. With del.icio.us, I can easily file sites with a click of a button and access them at home or at work depending on the tags.

As for interface, it figgin' works well and is pretty fast. It isn't very confusing once you use it either.
posted by boost ventilator at 11:04 PM on January 6, 2005


Nick, please don't tell krisjohn because he sounds like a meany and I don't want to see his links.

But if you're interested, a google search turns up lots of importers. I won't link one here because a certain barrier to entry is probably best for the del.licio.us servers, but it looks like if you can export your bookmarks in any standard format you can import them to del.icio.us with ease.
posted by freebird at 11:09 PM on January 6, 2005


I guess delicious isn't for people as awesome as you.

I choose not to see any sarcasm in that remark. Thank you.

I recall some actual awesome people saying similar things about Orkut -- that they get no value and simly get bothered by people they don't know all the time. Does anyone use that anymore?

And regarding content;

Well, it does if you don't already know everything there is to know.

No, del.icio.us doesn't host any content, just meta data. I could get the links off any site, such as Google, or a blog.
posted by krisjohn at 11:09 PM on January 6, 2005


It's corporate, so it's as chic, but I use Furl. It can be used like del.icio.us, but it is perhaps better suited for research and storing articles. An added bonus is that it caches your bookmarks also, which is useful for when news articles go down or go pay on sites such as NYTimes. You can also export your links in many ways, such as RSS feeds, XML, bookmark files, a zip file of each page it caches, or as biblographies in MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.
posted by ALongDecember at 11:36 PM on January 6, 2005


Sorry, I meant it's not as chic. I guess it does have the small threat of becoming pay ever since it was sold to Looksmart.
posted by ALongDecember at 11:37 PM on January 6, 2005


for me, the way to think about it is that it's a community but each user has a tag-driven, "low threshold links" blog. it's not a list of things you wanna visit all the time, but, rather, things you think are interesting, want to share with the community, and things you might want to file away for later.

it is not a replacement for traditional bookmarks, but rather a supplement, especially since not everyone has his or her own weblog. bookmarking a page is very different from del.icio.us'ing it. and a good number of my friends use del.icio.us as a substitute.

the killer feature is the currently disabled inbox. the inbox page is the aggregation of all of the people and tags you've subscribed to. if you're a livejournal user, it's like the livejournal friends page of del.icio.us.

the inbox, before it went on hiatus, served as a mechanism constantly pushing my friends' links in. i'd get to see my friend michaels's queer and politics links, my friend linda's indie rock and baseball stories, my friend elizabeth's knitting and film catches, and so and so forth. interested in only your friend's links on percussion? subscribe to del.icio.us/julia/percussion. interested in anything any user tags as "photography"? del.icio.us/photography. and so on and so forth. you set up your world, and del.icio.us does the rest, pushing content in.

every time i post a link, i know that not only will i be able to find it later, but all my friends are getting it in their inbox, and i'm contributing to a thriving community.
posted by kathryn at 12:29 AM on January 7, 2005


Wow, I'm glad you asked this, gyc. I hadn't really looked into del.icio.us much and was wondering why other people found it so useful. Just earlier today I was starting to wonder again after this.

I'm sold. Time to register and try it out. This seems like this could not only lead me to interesting things on the web, but further damn my productivity throughout the day.
posted by Stunt at 12:50 AM on January 7, 2005


So, if I'm the source of interesting bookmarks, a crappy interface and no way to import my existing bookmarks is quite the barrier.
posted by krisjohn at 10:42 PM PST on January 6


So there's no one out there with better bookmarks than you eh? Prove it.

For the interface, that's subjective. Lots of users find it easy-to-use and intuitive. If you like the functionality but find the interface "crappy" you can use the API and roll your own.

For importing/synching with Firefox, there's Foxylicious
posted by gen at 12:56 AM on January 7, 2005


On a related note, there is Connotea, a site just like del.icio.us but made specifically for scientists. It's small at the moment but there are some interesting links to be found there. And CiteULike (which seems to be down right now) does something similar for academic citations.
posted by LeeJay at 1:30 AM on January 7, 2005


It's bookmarks in the sky.
posted by scarabic at 1:46 AM on January 7, 2005


The only problem I have with delicious is that bookmarks can't be hidden.
posted by Gyan at 2:43 AM on January 7, 2005


I just wanted to thank y'all for your answers as well. I've heard it come up quite a bit, but didn't really know what the deal was.
posted by Bugbread at 4:26 AM on January 7, 2005


I'd have to say that del.icio.us and flickr. and my two most favorite sites right now. And hugest time wasters.
posted by adampsyche at 5:11 AM on January 7, 2005


The interface is awful. Really, really bad.

But you don't have to use it. Two extensions for Firefox, delicious and Foxylicious, will allow you to post (CTRL + SHIFT + S) links and then access those links from your bookmarks dropdown (that's pretty unwieldy though, so I just go to the site). Other than that, what freebird said in his first comment.

Ooh: and one more thing: I just figured out how to look at the intersections of tags, and that's pretty awesome. For example, I'm in the middle of something and know I've bookmarked something DHTML-ish (why I didn't tag it to "dhtml" is for me to know and this example to never find out), so I would have tagged it "css" and "js". That's a simple example, but you get the idea of the power. You wouldn't want to copy a bookmark to every folder it could belong to, but tagging is a different thing.
posted by yerfatma at 5:26 AM on January 7, 2005


So, if I'm the source of interesting bookmarks, a crappy interface and no way to import my existing bookmarks is quite the barrier.

Basically, yes on the first part, no on the second (there are a number of import utilities). I rank the fad up there with Friendster, and the subsequent frothing up there with rabies.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:37 AM on January 7, 2005


any way to even-somewhat duplicate the firefox+del.icio.us functionality everyone is raving about, with Opera?

thanks for posting this questions gyc, as it's something i've been wondering about for a while...
posted by lotsofno at 5:57 AM on January 7, 2005


I mainly use it as a way to have all of my bookmarks in a central place (as I go between an iBook G4, an iMac G5, and a couple of Windows and Linux machines). Yeah, the interface is sparse and simple - but that keeps it fast.
posted by mrbill at 6:12 AM on January 7, 2005


Hey people. Not to be unhelpful, but has it occurred to you to do a Google search on Exporting Bookmarks to del.icio.us ?

There is really no problem with hiding tags as long as your del.icio.us username is a pseudonym (not connected by anyone to YOU). Of course if you want to tell anyone that you are "pseudonym" then you may wish for hidden tags. Nobody says you can't have private bookmarks in addition to those you publish to del.icio.us, however.

If you prefer Blogdex, fine. Keep using it. Not exactly the same thing as del.icio.us, and certainly not as functional but if you prefer driving screws with a rock nobody is stopping you.

I clearly still need more caffeine this morning
posted by spock at 7:01 AM on January 7, 2005


I love del.icio.us, but can't quite figure out why, aside from the "centralized bookmarks" feature. I just like crawling through it. It very much embodies the spirit of the early days of the internet, when people shared for sharing's sake, and there was great joy to be found in the serendipity of just wandering through links. Sad to think that the more recent internet zeitgeist is embodied thusly:

So, if I'm the source of interesting bookmarks, a crappy interface and no way to import my existing bookmarks is quite the barrier.

For you, krisjohn, I suggest flickr, where you can post endless pictures of yourself and mark them all as private so you can spend all day looking at yourself, alone.
posted by mkultra at 7:42 AM on January 7, 2005


I love this question. I didn't quite get it either. I'll play around more. Doesn't this seem like an app that should be imbedded into one's browser?
posted by xammerboy at 7:57 AM on January 7, 2005


Doesn't this seem like an app that should be imbedded into one's browser?

No, and that's part of the beauty. It's browser-agnostic. If you embed it in, say, Mozilla, then who owns the server? Do you think Microsoft or Apple would embed functionality served by someone else in their proprietary browsers? The RSS feeds and "Post to del.icio.us" provide all the integration I need.
posted by mkultra at 8:08 AM on January 7, 2005


the inbox, before it went on hiatus, served as a mechanism constantly pushing my friends' links in.

The inbox is great, and when it went on hiatus, I compensated by subscribing to my favorite tags via RSS (though I know some have too many subscriptions to do this easily.)

If you use an aggregator like Bloglines, you can pull the feed for any del.icio.us tag, and get the latest things everyone is linking on, say, CSS, webdev, lifehacks, three-toed sloths...it's a great way to keep up on very specialized fields of interest.
posted by frykitty at 8:24 AM on January 7, 2005


I could get the links off any site, such as Google, or a blog.

I assume you read the blue, even though the same holds for everything there. That's what the serendipitous part of delicious is — see this user, for instance.
posted by mendel at 10:00 AM on January 7, 2005


delicious is great, but i have to admit, i'm either retarded at using the search function, or the search function totally sucks.

does search *only* look through tags? not through extended descriptions at all? I've bookmarked all sorts of crap in delicious and then "lost" it, because I wasn't able to find it again (poor tagging on my part for sure, but man, it seems like it should at least GLANCE through the extended description AND the tags!) I just searched for a link that was the last post to delicious, and was tagged "cool" -- typed "cool" into the search bar, hit "search", no results.

i've ended up having to display all my bookmarks for a particular tag that i think the link would be in, and then use my browser "Find in page" to get to it.

needless to say, this makes delicious kinda like throwing all my receipts in a shoebox. I know the shit's in there, but it's a pain to find -- and it'd almost be better if i just threw them away (and forged them later when the irs came a callin.)

is spurl better at searching? I might switch my pitch up if that's the case.
posted by fishfucker at 11:15 AM on January 7, 2005


I have the impression that search is offline right now, too, but temporarily, as part of the same thing that is affecting inbox.
posted by redfoxtail at 11:33 AM on January 7, 2005


don't search with the search box - use url-foo.

yourname/tag/something+somethingelse

for you or

tag/something+somethingelse

for everyone
posted by 31d1 at 12:38 PM on January 7, 2005


I like this question - I've never gotten why del.icio.us is so great. I immediately signed up after I saw this comment:

I publish my bookmarks to del.icio.us and boom! I get a neat little list of a bunch of folks who also link to those sites or articles.

But unless I'm an idiot (which is completely possible) it doesn't seem to be possible to immediately see a list of folks who link to the same sites I do. Even the about page says that's not supported.

So I guess I still don't get what the big fuss of del.icio.us is about. If I want a list of sites I like in a centralized location I can use blogrolling and at least it'll tell me when that person updates. This also seems wholly useless for people like me who live off RSS feeds.
posted by lynda at 2:42 PM on January 7, 2005


I love RSS too, but I still want to save URLs for later, particularly categorizing them. I don't get what's not to get.
posted by spock at 5:23 PM on January 7, 2005


I think we've hit the "Those Who Feel It Know" it part of the answer...if it still seems lame to you, it may well be.

Though I will add that it really grew on me. At first I just thought of it as remote bookmarks with a merely passable interface. Now I think it's the most likely place for The Singularity and the Emergence of a Networked God.

So do try it for a while before writing it off. Make sure you use the bookmarklet they provide, that makes it vastly more betterer.
posted by freebird at 5:34 PM on January 7, 2005


If you run a blog on a certain topic and enjoying sharing links with your readers, del.icio.us is a necessity in my opinion. Simply point your RSS reader to http://del.icio.us/rss/tag/whatevertopicyouwant and off you go. Links to several sites of interest (hand-picked by MeFi-like users), on your topic of interest, right to your proggy of choice, anytime, anywhere... what's not to love?

Except for the URL (most people I introduce to the service ask if it's a porn thing), I have no complaints - and I joined the game after the inbox feature was disabled.
posted by mediamelt at 8:50 PM on January 7, 2005


To those that don't use it and can't wrap their head around the whole social tagging aspect of it, I can see that it probably seems overly simplistic and not particularly useful. Trust me, though, that if you start to use it and dig in a bit, you will see just how deep it is... and that's just with the standard interface (and not counting the various API extenders and the disabled/in-development features, like the inbox and various things discussed on the mailing list).

Examples of how I use it:
* save a link I like. I then have a script on my site that reads my del.icio.us rss feed and displays the latest links as a link log
* I try to find an old game trailer that I once posted. Ok, well I'm sure I tagged it under "Gaming". Oops, I got 700 things tagged with that. Ok, then "Gaming+Video". Down to 30. Well, it was a Japanese game, so "Gaming+Video+Japan". THERE IT IS. Found it easily without having to do a blind text search.
* I subscribe to RSS feeds of topics of interest: http://del.icio.us/tag/ludology
* I post a link and visit my del.icio.us page and see that one other person posted it. I follow it and see that user's links and find one that interests me too.
* what's popular out there? http://del.icio.us/popular/
But what's popular with firefox?
http://del.icio.us/popular/firefox
* the inbox. It's useful. I miss it :( It should be back soon, but it's real useful. Yes. It can subscribe to other users' feeds as well as tag feeds'. It also has an "ignore" feature.
etc etc
There are many more uses.

Keep in mind that it's still pretty much in-development, so a lot of features are beind discussed/worked-on now. The nutr.icio.us interface is going to be integrated into del.icio.us, for example.
posted by mkn at 10:18 PM on January 7, 2005


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