For anyone who uses, at the least, two computers (e.g. a home PC and an office laptop), maintaining a common set of bookmarks can be very tedious. When a change is made on one computer, I used to export bookmarks from it and import into the other, and vice-versa, in an almost vicious cycle. It was a good thing del.icio.us (now a Yahoo! company) and other online bookmark services turned up (like shadows.com). It surely made things easier and a lot more convenient, especially, with its seamless integration with Firefox (I dare not mention anything else, if you’re not using Firefox already, you’re missing a lot, baby). Of course, one would need to be online to be able to access these bookmarks, right? Right. But, what’s the use of bookmarks if you’re offline anyway? However, in the more recent versions of the del.icio.us Firefox extension, synching between the browser and the server is now also supported and happens almost instantaneously. So one would think, hey, that’s pretty convenient, keeping everything in one place! And if one needs to access their bookmarks from other people’s computers, all one needs to do is go to delicious and login: and your priced bookmarks are instantly available wherever you are! But that’s just one of the features one can get from an online bookmark service.
One of the other neat things that del.icio.us can offer is of course, bookmarks sharing. With thousands of bookmarks being maintained by perhaps, millions of people, it’s a natural course to allow sharing. Of course, one has to be careful not to share confidential stuff with the rest of the world. Yes, there is an option to not share bookmarks. So, your work-related stuff and yeah, porn, is kept private unless you say so. When one bookmarks a URL, it even gives you the option to “suggest” it to a friend in your network, who may be interested in what you just found . It’s social-networking, bookmarks-style!
Another feature that’s not to be missed is tagging. With this, gone are the days when you just can’t decide which folder to place a bookmark on. Why put something in a folder or a category when its scope really cannot be pigeon-holed? And tags are one of the greatest things that ever happened and I couldn’t imagine i lived without it all these years. It’s also one of the fastest way to find information that’s been eluding you all this time. Besides, links that are in del.icio.us are bookmarked by discerning people. Google’s indexing is as great as its near-supernatural search results, but sometimes, nothing beats a human sorting through all the noise. Chances are, what you’re trying to look for has already been found and is bookmarked, tagged, and ready for your consumption! That’s User-Generated Content for you.
Lastly, del.icio.us, aside of course from AJAX being all over making it very easy to navigate through, RSS feeds are available to serve specific tags or your friends’ bookmarks. And that makes it easy for you to keep track of what your friends or colleagues have been browsing through. In my work, del.icio.us is an important tool in sharing stuff with my colleagues; all I have to do is suggest things and it will automatically turn up in their inboxes. It sure beats pasting links over IM or emails.
If you’re just about to sign up, you’ll ,of course, be given a choice to import your current bookmarks or you can always start fresh. And if you’re interested at all, for what its worth, my bookmarks are in http://del.icio.us/marco.cabazal. You can add me to your network, or simply subscribe to my RSS feeds using your favorite reader.