As you probably have noticed, I’ve added daily link posts to my blog by using del.icio.us. If you know all about del.icio.us, then skip this post. If not, read on…
I use del.icio.us, the social bookmark service owned by Yahoo!, which lets me bookmark and tag (create text descriptors to) any Web page I would like to make available to myself anytime in the future. An ongoing archive of all my bookmarks and tags are available to me and searchable on my personal del.icio.us Web site. I find this ongoing reservoir of information helpful whenever I need to write one of my columns, prepare a presentation, review important past materials or conduct general research.
Moreover, I make most of my bookmarks public, so people close to me (especially company or industry colleagues) can view my bookmarks and see the content that interests me (usually recent blog posts and news stories, but sometimes multimedia attractions). While no sane person would categorize me as very popular, a few people actually pay attention to my bookmarks because they realize their time and attention is valuable, and they trust me to suggest content that is worthwhile. Similar to the relationship readers have with me and my blog, I become an editor. Conversely, I pay attention to a number of other people’s bookmarks.
You can view my public bookmark site here, and if you read my blog posts by visiting my actual site (versus subscribing through a news reader), you’ll see that my recent del.icio.us tags are automatically posted in the sidebar. If you visit my public bookmark site, you can even subscribe to my bookmarks via RSS in your news reader.
Finally, as I originally mentioned, I set up my del.icio.us account to automatically post to my blog – specifically, all the bookmarks I created in the prior 24 hours. The post directly before this one is an example of my automated daily link post. It’s a little tricky to do (for technically challenged people like me), but there’s a good tutorial on it here.
PRAGMATIC REFLECTIONS ON SOCIAL BOOKMARKING:
- This is a little bit geeky, but public bookmarks can become very visible to search engines; they can add incremental and often significant search engine optimization. I’m noticing this more and more.
- There are number of open-source, third-party hacks and add-ons for del.icio.us, like here.
- I also subscribe to populicio.us, which continually feeds me the most popular links that have been bookmarked in del.icio.us over the prior 48 hours. It’s a great way to identify online content that is quickly spreading and engaging people – so much that they feel compelled to bookmark it. These links are almost always associated with interesting and timely content, and tell a lot about the interests and mindset of people who participate in the del.icio.us social bookmark community.
- If you do try del.icio.us, you’ll definitely want to add browser buttons to streamline the bookmark process. Bookmarking has become a habit for me, and the toolbars really help.
- It took me a while to understand and get in the groove of bookmarking, but now I find it essential.
- Deli.cio.us is not the only social bookmark service. There are others including Furl and Spurl. There is a herd mentality associated with bookmarking services – it’s sort of the nature of any social media platform. That probably explains why I use del.icio.us, because all my friends and colleagues do; more participants make it more useful. That’s probably part of the reason why Yahoo! acquired it versus others.
Finally, there are numerous other hacks and uses for social bookmarks. My description above probably minimizes the full capabilities and potential. A good place to go for further background would be Wikipedia’s entry.
Finally, social bookmarks have numerous misunderstood and unknown implications for marketers. I believe strongly that bookmarking services fall into the category of consumer-generated media (CGM), a subject where I spend a lot of time (personally and professionally). I’ll tackle this in subsequent posts.