Many people see Delicious (and other social bookmarking sites like Diigo) as simply a replacement for the bookmarks/favorites menu in their browser. One that they can access from anywhere instead of just their personal computer.
However, that’s just the basics. Adopting these simple habits could turn Delicious into a life-changing information manager.
Mark Everything! – If you find a page on the web that has something in which you’re interested or which could be useful to you in the future, add it to your Delicious feed. Don’t even think twice! When it comes to adding items to Delicious, don’t think of it as bookmarking. You are actually creating your own private Google search tool.
Tag, Tag, and More Tag! – Tagging is how you create your own organizational system so don’t be afraid to add lots of tags to each entry. However, try to be consistent in the tags you use. For example, blog, blogs, blogging – pick one and use it consistently. Delicious makes it easy to clean up your tags but it will be less work in the long run to do it right the first time.
Don’t Skip The Notes – While it takes longer to write a short description for each entry, you will thank yourself later if you take the time. Notes explain to you and your feeds (more on that later) why this was important or interesting in the first place. Just in case you forgot. You can make it easier to include this annotation by selecting a block of relevant text on the page before you click the save on delicious button in your browser (or most Delicious tools you can add to your browser). That text will be added to the Description field, ready for editing.
Install the save on delicious button. Everywhere! – For any computer at which you work, and any browser you might use, install the button. Sure you can add a page by going to the web site. However, you’ll get into good Delicious habits faster if you always have the button staring you in the face. Just remember to log out from the site if someone else will also be using the same computer and browser.
Stack Up Your Bookmarks – A relatively new feature in Delicious is Stacks. This allows you to collect related bookmarks into a group on pages that have kind of a magaziney appearance. My stack of Google Earth resources for teachers is a mediocre example but it should give you some idea of the concept. To start building a better one, click the Create Stack link in the top right corner. You can even invite other Delicious members to collaborate on a stack.
Build Yourself a Network. – There are other people using Delicious who probably have similar interests to yours, and they are finding web pages that you might like but may have missed. Get their Delicious names, visit their profile, and click the Follow button. Then when you click on the Feeds tab on your home page, you’ll see the latest and greatest entries from everyone you’re following.
Aggregate Your Network – You may not have noticed, but your Feeds page has an RSS feed. Add that URL your favorite aggregator (Google Reader, for example) and information about new pages bookmarked by members of your network will arrive with all your other feeds. Don’t know about RSS? Well, that’s another power tool you absolutely must have!
Share the Wealth With Your Network – When you find something you think someone else in your network might like, why not have Delicious tell them about it? Just add for: and their user name (as in for:timstahmer) in the tags you’re adding anyway and the system will let them know by sending your mark to their inbox. They can then change the notes and tags before adding it to their collection. And your friends and colleagues can do the same for you. Your inbox can be found under the Profile menu in the top right part of any page.
Share the Wealth With Anyone – You can also send a select group of your marks to anyone. Just search for the appropriate tags and the address shown in your browser will lead your colleagues (or students) directly to a page of the list of sites (with your notes, of course) you want them to have. For example, to see my collection of marks related to video tutorials on the web, I’d give you this address: http://delicious.com/tstahmer/video+tutorial. You can even add the RSS feed for this page to your aggregator and be notified when I add something new.
Connecting With Twitter – If you regularly post links on Twitter, you can have them automatically sent to your Delicious bookmarks. Set that up by going to your profile settings (under the menu at the top right of any page) and click on the Sources tab. Read all the settings carefully so you know what you’re getting.
Going Mobile – One more way to put great stuff in your Delicious collection is to email it. The setup information and instructions for using are in your profile settings under the Mobile tab. Again, read everything carefully.