Tag Archives: Delicious

Getting on the Social Trail

More reports of social annotation tools — services that allow you to not just bookmark sites but share those bookmarks, and other bits and pieces with them. This one from the highly readable Read/Write Web, just down the road from me in NZ:

There are a plethora of bookmarking sites out there and only a few of them have become very successful – del.icio.us and Stumbleupon are two that spring to mind. Trailfire is a bit different from your average bookmarking site, because they don’t just allow you to share bookmarks – they make it easy for you to share ‘trails’, which are “annotated navigation paths”.

I haven’t had a chance to try out trailfire, and I’m not quite sure how well it works, mainly because it won’t load (it’s been telling me to stand by for nearly 15 minutes now, which is as Bob Geldof would say, a quarter of an hour too long. It has, however, been added to my directory of such tools, which is looking quite big now.

PR Newswire Gets Delicious

It’ll be interesting to see how Yahoo, new owner of social bookmarking and tagging pioneer del.icio.us, tries to bring the whole tagging shebang to the wider marketplace. Here’s an early example of how it might work. PR Newswire, a news release service, has announced a partnership with del.icio.us, to allow visitors to PR Newswire’s public website to tag individual news releases issued by PR Newswire members and post them into their personal profiles on del.icio.us.

The feature appears as a button alongside existing RSS, email and print button above each press release:

Prnew

Click on the link and it takes you to your del.icio.us account (if you have one) and prepares a new entry. Nothing that revolutionary here, you may say, but I’d suggest that this is one of the first examples of del.icio.us breaking out of the usual blogosphere world. PR Newswire is, after all, for journalists, who are not known for their passion for things nerdy.

Of course, it’s a great way for PR Newswire to spread their news releases around, as the press release itself admits:

Once posted in a personal Del.icio.us profile, the news release is accessible to the thousands of users who search Del.icio.us for information regularly.

Indeed, this is one of the great strengths and weaknesses of del.icio.us. On the one hand it’s great to see what other people are tagging, and to get access to a live list of the latest exciting websites. On the other hand, how soon is this list going to be polluted — if it’s not already — by people promoting their own stuff or just by people tagging stuff that’s not very interesting? The irony of del.icio.us, in my view, is that it was wonderful while it was being used by people in the know, but it becomes less useful the more popular it gets and everyone starts tagging American Idol and Britney Spears websites.

That said, the popular feed of del.icio.us remains as nerdy as ever.

After del.icio.us, a Directory of Other Things Yahoo! Should Buy

The Loose Wire Yahoo Blessing continues, as del.icio.us gets bought by y.ah.oo!. From Joshua Schacter’s blog:

We’re proud to announce that del.icio.us has joined the Yahoo! family. Together we’ll continue to improve how people discover, remember and share on the Internet, with a big emphasis on the power of community. We’re excited to be working with the Yahoo! Search team – they definitely get social systems and their potential to change the web. (We’re also excited to be joining our fraternal twin Flickr!)

Congratulations, Joshua. A lot of people still don’t seem to get del.icio.us; I’m glad Yahoo! does. As Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! Search puts it:

And just like we’ve done with Flickr, we plan to give del.icio.us the resources, support, and room it needs to continue growing the service and community. Finally, don’t be surprised if you see My Web and del.icio.us borrow a few ideas from each other in the future.

It’s probably good news for del.icio.us, but there are those who think the touch of Yahoo! isn’t always as light as it could be. For my part I’m smugly totting up the services I’ve tried to champion over the years that have ended up getting bought by Yahoo! There was oddpost; Upcoming; Bloomba; Konfabulator and Flickr. Of course, lots of other people loved these products too, but it’s uncanny how I get excited about something and then Yahoo! wanders in and buys it.

So here are a few other things I like:

  • Text Monkey: Easily clean copied text
  • blummy: Great bookmarklet aggregator
  • MSGTAG – MessageTag: Email receipt alert
  • Klips: you got Konfabulator; buy the rest
  • Anagram: Translates copied text into Contact, Calendar, Task, and Note items for Outlook, Palm etc
  • Multiplicity: Control all your computers from one keyboard n mouse
  • TiddlyWikis: they’re not for sale but they’re great
  • ActiveWords: Do everything without leaving the keyboard
  • 37Signals: The whole Writeboard, Basecamp, Tadalist thing
  • Flock: great browser, good way to pull all Yahoo!’s juicy new bits together (thanks, Tom)
  • clipmarks: don’t save bookmarks, save clipmarks
  • MyInfo: free-form information organizer

Thassall for now.

Getting Communal With Books

It’s always hard to explain to people why sharing stuff online is so powerful. For one thing it’s getting easier, with del.icio.us etc. But the real power is in being able to harness the wisdom of others in finding stuff. Simply put, it’s the online equivalent of asking among your most knowledgeable acquaintances for helping in finding things — from a good barber to a good book, a good CD to a good funeral home. Anyone who has read The Tipping Point will know the importance of mavens (or was it connectors?) so it’s not rocket science that this is an amazing use of the Internet’s leverage. Why some people remain hostile to it baffles me.

Anyway, here’s another great communal sharing thing, written up well by Jim Regan: Do your own LibraryThing | csmonitor.com:

Book clubs and English classes notwithstanding, reading tends to be a predominantly solitary pastime, and truth be told, not many of us have ever considered listing the contents of our ‘personal libraries’ for either our own or anybody else’s entertainment. But the Internet keeps finding new ways of changing our habits, and LibraryThing appears poised to turn the cataloging of books into a form of communal recreation.

Definitely worth a read.

Outlook Gets Del.icio.us

Attensa, an RSS reader for Microsoft Outlook, has added del.icio.us tags:

You can add tags to articles and access them using a pull down list using the Attensa Toolbar for Internet Explorer. When you tag articles with Attensa your bookmark list on Del.icio.us is updated and synchronized automatically. With the addition of tagging, Attensa gives you a set of tools for organizing your feeds and articles. Categories let you create a hierarchal [sic] structure using folders to keep feeds organized. Tags give you a more free form tool for keeping articles organized and they connect you with the del.icio.us social network.

Sadly Attensa only works with Outlook and IE. But it is free.

The Firefox Del.icio.us Toolbar

The guys at del.icio.us have launched a “very preliminary del.icio.us firefox toolbar at http://del.icio.us/toolbar/ :

The button icons are placeholders and a product of Joshua’s creative fury. If you bring up the ‘customize’ toolbar palette in firefox, you can rearrange, remove or place the buttons on on any other customizable firefox toolbar.

The icons are very basic, but somewhat charming. There’s not an awful lot going on, but the ‘about’ button is a useful addition, listing all the other people who have tagged the page you’re viewing.

Directing Del.icio.us

I’m blown away by some of the amazing, but simple, stuff people are doing with tags and Ajax and all these other things I only dimly understand. What’s great is I don’t really need to understand them, I just need to be able to use them and see them as useful.

Here’s yet another candidate: del.icio.us direc.tor: Delivering A High-Performance AJAX Web Service Broker from a guy called Johnvey Hwang:

del.icio.us direc.tor is a prototype for an alternative web-based rich UI for del.icio.us. It leverages the XML and XSL services of modern browsers to deliver a responsive interface for managing user accounts with a large number of records.

The main features are:

* In-browser handling of del.icio.us bookmarks (tested up to 12,000 records)
* Find-as-you-type searching of all your bookmarks, with basic search operators
* Sort by description, tags, or timestamp
* Ad-hoc tag browser

Simple looking, but it does a neat job of enabling you to look through your del.icio.us tags easily. John explains his plan thus:

I have always been intrigued by the idea of using a client-side application to act as a service broker, integrating various services like Google Maps, Flickr, and del.icio.us. Unfortunately, after doing the research, I found that the security blocks in the browser prevent normal untrusted code to poll sites that are not from the same server, so that grand service idea couldn’t be a reality. What I was able to do, though, was provide a service for a single website: del.icio.us.

Part research, part appreciation for del.icio.us, del.icio.us direc.tor is a prototype for an alternative web-based rich UI for del.icio.us. It leverages the XML and XSL services of modern browsers to deliver a responsive interface for managing user accounts with a large number of records. Try it out, and let me know what you think.

Nice.

Searching for Tags

Denis Sinegubko tells me of his new tag searching facility in his software FirstStop WebSearch. Here’s an excerpt from his FirstStop Blog: Social Bookmarks in FirstStop WebSearch which explains it in more detail:

The pre-installed (in version 4.2) category “Social Bookmarks” contains the following search sources: LookSmart’s Furl.net, CiteULike.org, and Zniff.com, a search engine for the Spurl.net. Anticipating your question about del.icio.us, I can tell you that we didn’t include this very popular social bookmarks manager only because it doesn’t have a search facility.

Sounds like an interesting tool.

Delicious Additions

Here’s a wonderful new addition to the del.icio.us process of adding a tag to a web page — the posting page predicts from your existing tags what you are typing, and offers suggestions based on your existing tags.

Not just that: below the fields are some recommended tags you have already assigned to other pages which match ‘popular tags’ assigned by others to the page being tagged (there’s probably a better way of putting it, but it’s still early here):

Delicious

Just for good measure the posting page lists all your existing tags, the recommended tags highlighted in red.

Very nice. But not only nice: At a stroke this tackles a couple of perceived problems with del.icio.us: the supposed anarchy of people tagging the same pages with different tags, and the problem of you yourself ending up with too many different, but similar, tags for things that should probably have had the same tags. (There’s bound to be another side to this discussion where people would argue this ‘anarchy’ is part of the greatness of the tagging taxonomy, but I’m not going there this morning.)

Hats off to Joshua and the team. Amazing how simple and intuitive they have managed to keep del.icio.us, where it’s easy to do everything but very hard (at least for me) to explain.