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One New Thing
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
One New Thing: Collaborative Software

As a general rule I am never one to ignore a bandwagon, so I’ve jumped on and started playing with del.icio.us. I think I may be hooked already! For anyone who hasn’t run across it so far, it’s described as a “social bookmarks manager”. You use a bookmarklet in your Favorites to add links to your del.icio.us site, and you can assign them into a category which is completely of your choosing. What’s most useful, aside from the ease and portability of bookmarking, is that you can check to see what other users have bookmarked in similar categories. And every person and topic has an RSS feed so you can keep up with what new and exciting links have been discovered.

I find this concept quite intriguing as an example of collaborative software – in the same vein as the Open Directory Project and Wiki. It demonstrates that it is possible to collaboratively make a directory that works. del.icio.us does not have controlled subject headings or any special standards for entry, which would definitely make it more reliable as a web directory: but it’s so quick and easy, it takes no effort whatsoever for me to dump links there as I surf the web, and I can be much more certain of being able to relocate those links by either topic, description, or date I bookmarked them even when I change computers. Imagine a collaborative project by all librarians worldwide using software as simple as this: we’d have the web straightened in no time! :)

Kudos to the creator of del.icio.us – I for one salute you, and I am sure many others will join in!

Greg of Openstacks lists some del.icio.us-ing librarians. I personally am quite taken by the efforts of the inseasonlibrarian, whoever you are! My page is at http://del.icio.us/lynette. If you are planning on following what I bookmark, be prepared for some quite random and non-librarian-related linking going on occasionally. ;)

(By the way, can anyone find a definition of “bookmarklet” for me? I know what it is, but I wanted a nice definition for the uninitiated…can’t track one down!)

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