[Anyone that reads this page with any kind of regularity knows that I really love del.icio.us. I keep all my bookmarks there and it runs the bookmarks toolbar on the right side of my page. However, I’ve realized that I’ve never really explained why and how to use del.icio.us. So here it is.]
Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site. Essentially that means that you can save your bookmarks online for everyone to see, instead of hiding them on your computer. Along with just the title of the site you’re bookmarking, you can also add a few sentences describing the bookmark and tag the bookmark. There are a few major advantages to keeping your bookmarks on del.icio.us instead of locked away on your computer.
1. Access: Thanks to del.icio.us I can now access my bookmarks from anywhere at anytime. Doesn’t matter if I’m using my computer or something else, finding my bookmarks are never further away then typing in http://del.icio.us/nrb210.
2. Searchable: Bookmarks kept in a browser are generally not searchable, which makes it difficult to go back and find what you bookmarked.
3. Extended Description: Adding an extra sentence of context to a bookmark does wonders for remembering why it was interesting in the first place.
4. Tagging: I’ve talked about the wonders of tagging on any number of occasions but here’s a one (somewhat long) sentence definition: it’s a way to organize information in a more personally meaningful way by labeling things with tags that make sense to you.
Alright, so now I’ve gone through four major benefits, now let me step you through how to get started with del.icio.us:
Step 1: Go to the registration page. (If you’re using Firefox, may I suggest you open the page in a new tab?)
Step 2: Fill out all the information (including the email). Don’t worry you won’t get any spam and your email address won’t show up anywhere publicly.
Step 3: Go check your email, you should have a verification email from del.icio.us. Open the email and click the verification link. You’ll be brought to a page that says, “email address verified!”
Step 4: Go back to the del.icio.us homepage and click the login link. Go ahead and enter your login name and password.
Step 5: Congratulations, you’re now signed into del.icio.us, you’re only a few steps away from posting your bookmarks. Right now you should be at the about page. Go ahead and read it if you’d like, but at the very least go to the bookmarklet section and drag the link that says “experimental post to del.icio.us” up to your bookmarks toolbar (that’s the bar where you put all the links you click on often).
Step 6: Find something worth bookmarking (this entry perhaps?) and click the “experimental post to del.icio.us” bookmark on your toolbar.
Step 7: You should now be at the post page. If everything worked correctly the URL and DESCRIPTION field should already be filled in. Now go ahead and add the EXTENDED field with whatever comments/summary/quotes/anything you want and tag the page with whatever you feel appropriate. Since you’re using the “experimental post” you’ll notice the “recommended tags” section. Those are tags that other people have used that you have also used in the past. However, since this is most likely your first post and you haven’t used tags in the past you’ll be better off looking at the popular tags, which show you what tags other people have use. Go ahead and add some tags and this hit save.
Voila! You’re now a member of the del.icio.us community. You’re bookmarks are at the address http://del.icio.us/theusernameyouchose
If you’ve got any questions about this or something isn’t clear, either leave a comment or email me at nb [at] noahbrier.com, I’d be happy to help you out.