Become a del.icio.us Power User

September 7, 2006 at 2:46 pm 24 comments

“Del.icio.us can be used as a place to store bookmarks, share bookmarks, and discover web sites, blogs, downloads, and more, that would otherwise largely go unnoticed. Here are some of the ways to really harness the power of del.icio.us.”

Storing and Accessing Your Bookmarks

At it’s simplest, del.icio.us is a way to store bookmarks and make them available to you on multiple computers, browsers, locations, etc… All other uses of the service depend on this.

  1. Use Browser Buttons: Browser buttons are an easy, convenient way to bookmark a web site, or view your del.icio.us bookmarks. There are buttons for Internet Explorer, and a Firefox Extension.
  2. Use IE’s Active Channel: If you’re an IE user, there is a del.icio.us Active Channel (What’s an active channel?) that creates an easy way to access your del.icio.us bookmarks through IE’s Favorites menu.
  3. Use Tags Effectively: When applying tags to del.ico.us bookmarks, use tags that will be easy to interpret at a later point. However, be consistent (don’t use application, utility, app, and tool – decide on one and stick to it)
  4. Add del.icio.us bookmarks to your homepage: Every user on del.icio.us has an RSS feed of all their own bookmarks. Add your own bookmarks to your personalized home page (Windows Live, Google Personalized Homepage, Netvibes, etc…) and view your most recent bookmarks every time you launch your browser.

Sharing Your Bookmarks

Sharing bookmarks is what puts the “social” in “social bookmarking.” Del.icio.us offers several ways to share your bookmarks with another user, your friends, or the world.

Note: Some of these tips require that your friends be members of del.icio.us. If they’re not, invite them to sign up.

  1. Send Links to a Friend: If you have friends that are members, you can send them bookmarks by using the “for:” tag (Tag a bookmark with for:username). To view bookmarks sent to you, visit http://del.icio.us/for when logged in.
  2. Publish a “Link Roll”: A link roll is a way for you to share your del.icio.us bookmarks with the world on a blog, or on a web site like http://share.opml.org/. To publish your link roll, you can use a wizard to create the appropriate JavaScript (which you can then paste into a blog or web page), you use simple HTML to publish your bookmarks, or you can publish your del.icio.us RSS feed on a web site or blog using a third-party, or the K2 theme for WordPress RSS sidebar module.
  3. Display a Badge: Displaying a badge on your web site or blog that includes your del.icio.us username, a link to your bookmarks, and an option to let others add you to their network provides an easy way to publicize your links.

Discover New Bookmarks

Discovering new things is absolutely, hands down, my favorite way to use del.icio.us. “Collective Intelligence” provides a good way to determine the quality of a given bookmark: if lots of other people think something’s useful/ funny/ interesting/ worth reading – then it probably is!

  1. Browse Around: While the most obvious way to discover feeds, it’s still powerful. Visit http://del.icio.us and see what’s being posted by other users. You can also view bookmarks by specific tags (http://del.icio.us/tagname) or by popularity. More tips on site navigation can be found here.
  2. Use the Inbox: Navigate to http://del.icio.us/inbox/ you’ll get the idea. Using the inbox you can subscribe to various tags, or specific users. Simply specify your criteria (you can add any number of tags, users, combination of tags, or combination of tags and users) and then visit your inbox as often as you like to see what matches your criteria. This is a great way to discover new feeds from within the del.icio.us service.
  3. Subscribe to RSS Feeds: There’s an RSS feed for just about every page you can find on del.icio.us. You can subscribe to feeds by tags, by user, by combinations of tags and users, and more. Instructions for subscribing to del.icio.us RSS feeds can be found here.
  4. Build Your Network: Adding users to your del.ico.us network provides an easy way to keep track of what your friends, or others are tagging. One way to use your network, is to subscribe to the bookmarks of knowledgeable users or companies you’re interested in. For example, Adobe recently started using del.icio.us.
  5. Use the Randomizer: A “randomizer” button provides a way to discover random bookmarks from del.icio.us. Clicking the button will take you to a web page that another user found interesting. While I can see this being a huge time-waster, it can be fun and informative as well.

Other Uses of del.icio.us

  • As a Blogging Tool: A new plugin for Windows Live Writer allows bloggers to easily insert del.icio.us links into blog entries.
  • With Feed Readers: Several feed readers (FeedDemon and Attensa for example) allow users to bookmark items received in RSS feeds.

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