Use Delicious to store your favorite web bookmarks “in the cloud.”
Storing data “in the cloud” means using a web-based internet resource to archive your data. You are doing this when you host your e-mail on Google or Yahoo, when you put your digital pictures on Flickr or WalMart.com, or when you upload your videos to YouTube.
One of the things that has typically resided on a user’s computer is their Favorites – those internet sites that you choose to flag in your browser. (They’re called Bookmarks in some browsers.) Anyone who has ever had their computer crash or gotten a new one knows that losing or migrating your favorites can be a major concern. However, a newer site called delicious.com offers people a chance to store their bookmarks “in the cloud” and make them portable. Putting your favorites on Delicious also allows you (perhaps even forces you) to tag them a bit differently and share them with others.
If you’re not quite sure how this works or what it even means, then a video is worth more than a thousand words. Really, before you even try to access Delicious.com, watch this YouTube video: (the article originally cited here is no longer available. A substitute video has been provided): http://youtu.be/HeBmvDpVbWc.
Once you’ve seen the video, you’ll understand why you’d want to do this. You’ll even get an idea of how it works. For the hopelessly text-based, here are the steps:
- Point your web browser to delicious.com.
- Click “Join Now” in the green box at the upper right.
- Fill out the form, check the “Agree” box, and then click “Register.”
- If you click “Easy Import,” all of your bookmarks (favorites) from your computer will be imported and shared. If you click” Custom Import,” you’ll have the choice of sharing them or not and adding the most common tags. I recommend the latter. This process takes a bit of time if you have a lot of bookmarks, which is why it offers to e-mail you when it’s done.
- The next screen lists your bookmarks (favorites) in either inverse chronological or alphabetical order. You can change that by clicking the “Sorted” item at the upper right of the list.
- You can “Edit,” “Delete,” or “Share” your favorites by using the links below each one.
Congratulations, your favorites are in the cloud. You can now access them from any computer with internet access by logging in to Delicious.com.
Once your bookmarks/favorites are stored on delicious, you should learn to tag and organize those favorites within delicious. This really unleashes the power of organizing and working with your best web sites. First, think about how you might want to group them. These groupings will become your tags. For example, some of your favorites might be related to travel, job search, education, computers, etc. You can apply multiple tags to any given bookmark, so if one is about studying French abroad, you could apply the tags of education, French, and travel. You can add or remove tags to a bookmark at any time. Remember that these bookmarks and the tags are available to others, so should tag them in a way that is helpful to other people doing research.
Once logged in, you should see your list of bookmarks. To tag any one, click the edit link below the bookmark name. (It is fairly small – to the left of the word delete.) On the line labeled “Tags,” enter one or more tags, separated by spaces. This means that all tags should be one word, so if you want to have a tag of “job search,” enter it as “jobsearch” – squished together. While on the “Edit” screen for a bookmark, you can fill in any other information you like, such as notes about what is on the web site. Click “Save” when you are done.
When entering tags, try to be consistent. Make sure you don’t misspell them, and try to use the same types of terms. For example, I tend to use nouns like “teaching” rather than verbs like “teach.” If you use teach for some and teaching for others, they will not be grouped together. As you go through, you’ll begin seeing numbers in blue or green to the right. These indicate how many other people have stored these same bookmarks on delicious. You can click on the number to see the delicious ID of the people who have selected those same bookmarks. If you begin seeing that a specific person has the same interests as you, you may choose to view their bookmarks on delicious to see how many other of their bookmarks you also want to select.
Once you get a large number of your bookmarks tagged, one of the more amusing features is to view your tags as a tag cloud. To do this, look for the list of tags and the right, then click the “Tag Options” link just above it. Click the “Cloud” link to view them as a cloud. That will make a big square of words with the most commonly used ones printed in larger type than the less common ones. To revert to a list (which is admittedly more functional,) click the “List” link. You can click any of your tags to view all of the bookmarks to which you have applied that tag.
Posted by C. Sabbar, Review/Updated B. R. Metzler 6/15/11
Tags: Internet, software