What is Delicious?
Delicious is a web service that basically allows you to organize, tag, and publish your web bookmarks. You are probably familiar with the bookmarks that exist in every web browser (in Explorer they are called Favorites). You can save the location of any place you've visited on the web for future reference. Very handy feature - almost everybody uses it. But there is a problem. Your bookmarks/favorites get unwieldy after a while, even if you collect them in folders. Plus you can't access them from another computer. What if you could easily and logically organize your bookmarks, AND access them from anywhere?
Delicious takes that handy bookmarks idea and blows it out of the water. Once you set up Delicious, you start collecting bookmarks as you visit your favorite web places - you can add the bookmark with one click on your toolbar. Remember that bookmark can be a YouTube video, an article, a radio show - anything web-accessible. Instead of adding the bookmark to somewhere in your browser's structure, you export the bookmark to Delicious. So now it's available to you anywhere. Since you log in, nobody else can add to your list.
But not only that - in Delicious, you tag each bookmark with a simple descriptive word. Say you've found a recipe for Chinese dumplings. Your tags could be "dumplings", "cooking" "food" "recipes" - there are really no rules, whatever tags work best. Over time, you will accumulate lots of recipes. Delicious organizes those tags for you automatically, and - here's the neat part - assigns a web address to each tag!
For example my Delicious web address is http://delicious.com/bkelm. This collects all my bookmarks, but also collects each tag as a web address - eg all my bookmarks on web design are at: http://delicious.com/bkelm/webdesign. And it's done automatically.
What are tags?
One word of advice about tags I'd give right up front - be consistent! If you use different spellings or inconsistent terms for the same thing, you can start to lose information over time. When you're up to 1,000 tags, that's something you'll appreciate.
Also, 2-word or 3-word tags are a bit of a problem. Just using the 2 words will cause Delicious to read them as 2 separate words. You have to find a protocol for linking them together. My habit is to link 2 words with an underscore eg. urban_legends. You can also run the words together, altho that's not quite as elegant.
Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on del.icio.us to help you organize and remember them. Tags are a little bit like keywords, but they're chosen by you, and they do not form a hierarchy. You can assign as many tags to a bookmark as you like and rename or delete the tags later. So, tagging can be a lot easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories or folders.
For example, if you save an article about how to make a certain kind of cake, you can tag it with recipes sweets yogurt or whatever other tags you might use to find it again. You don't have to rely on the designer of a system to provide you with a category for French cake recipes. You make up tags as you need them, and use the tags that make the most sense to you.
This is great for organizing and finding personal data, but it goes even further when someone else posts related content using the same tags. You begin building a collaborative repository of related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization. For instance, to view everybody's bookmarks about sweets, visit http://del.icio.us/tag/sweets. To see the most popular items tagged as sweets, visit http://del.icio.us/popular/sweets.
If you don't get it right away, that's OK -- you don't have to. Tagging is pretty intuitive and can take some practice to fully understand. Try it and experiment a bit! There are no wrong tags.
When saving or editing a bookmark, there is a field for tags. In this field, enter as many tags as you would like, each separated by a space. You may notice lists of tags underneath this form. Popular tags are what other people have tagged this page as, and recommended tags are a combination of tags you have already used and tags that other people have used. You are under no obligation to use these! They are only there to help you. What tags or words would help you remember this page a few years from now? That's a good place to start.
Choose a username that is easy to remember, but unique. Aim for something that is meaningful to you - the more unusual the better, and hopefully a name that you can use across multiple Web 2.0 services. That will establish an online identity for you. Give this a lot of thought - it's a pain to change your username later.
Working with Delicious
The most useful tool in your Delicious toolbox is the toolbar button. When you find a page you want to bookmark, you just click the button.
What are buttons and why do I need them? Start here: http://del.icio.us/help/buttons
Delicious - Wikipedia
Del.icio.us (pronounced as "delicious") is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarks. The site was founded by Joshua Schachter in late 2003, and was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. Now it has more than 3 million users and 100 million bookmarked URLs.
Del.icio.us uses a non-hierarchical keyword categorization system, in which users can tag each of their bookmarks with a number of freely chosen keywords (cf. folksonomy). A combined view of everyone's bookmarks with a given tag is available; for instance, the URL "http://del.icio.us/tag/wiki" displays all of the most recent links tagged "wiki". Its collective nature makes it possible to view bookmarks added by similar-minded users.
Del.icio.us has a "hotlist" on its home page and "popular" and "recent" pages, which help to surface interesting content and make the website an effective conveyor of popular internet memes and trends.
Many novel features have contributed to making Del.icio.us one of the most popular social bookmarking services. These include the website's simple interface, human-readable URL scheme, and a novel domain name.
Use of Del.icio.us is free. The source code of the site is not available, but a user's own data is freely downloadable through the site's API in an XML or JSON format, and can also be exported to a standard Netscape bookmarks format.
Everything posted to Del.icio.us is publicly viewable by default, although a user can mark specific bookmarks as private, and imported bookmarks are private by default. The public aspect is emphasized; it is not focused on storing private ("not shared") bookmark collections. Many people use the Del.icio.us linkrolls, tagrolls and network badges to display their links and information on their weblogs. Others use the RSS feeds and daily blog posting feature to do this.