Friday, January 30, 2009

Delicious...or merely appetizing?

Here's my take on Thing 13, which demonstrates tagging and folksonomies via : Interesting, but not thrilling. Perhaps my opinion will change with further use.

What I like:

  • Non-browser-specific bookmark portability (obviously)
  • Ease and flexibility of bookmarking and tagging (less redundant and easier than IE)
  • Ability to share/collaborate with others by using a unique tag
Well, obviously, I like the portability of the links. However, since I use 2 computers 99% of the time (home and work) and the browser-specific bookmarks I have are unique to the types of things I do on those particular computers, not having portable bookmarks has rarely been a hindrance for me. There are the occasional circumstances when this can be handy, though. There are other ways around this hindrance, too, that don't involve Delicious.

I do like the nice little browser buttons that let me bookmark a web page in a click and tag it immediately. This is infinitely better than clicking Favorites/Add to Favorites in Internet Explorer (IE) and then sorting within folders. It's nice to not be limited to either choosing one place to file the link (i.e., choosing the equivalent of one tag) or having to repeatedly copy the link into multiple folders. In the Delicious model, one link can have many tags. This is a very good thing. BTW, I found the IE manual installation to work best for me, since there are many controls on my work computer. (See Installing bookmarklets on Delicious.)

I wouldn't have immediately (eventually - yes, since my library roots are in database design and this is a basic principle, but immediately - no) thought of creating a unique tag to collaborate on a research project, except that I recently was following tweets from the Consumer Electronics Show that were tagged with #CES09, so the whole concept just happened to be top of mind. This idea also was stated in Otter Group's podcast, tutorial. This could be handy when slamming together rush research with the library team, although the confidentiality issue would need to be addressed; I need to investigate that issue further.

What I don't like: using it as a research tool. When I started following tag trails, I didn't find anything better or faster than I found by searching traditionally. The trails are going to be, by nature, irregular. Consider, someone needs to tag a page for you to find it in the first place, and unless you know the tagger (that might happen), their credibility and tagging prowess is questionable. I waded through a lot of muck only to find some of the bookmarks I already had on a very straightforward topic. I can't really see myself following Delicious tags for research unless I am really desperate. I guess I'm not the sort who holds the blind hope that if I comb through the sand on the beach long enough, I might just find a real shrunken head.

For some reason, my Delicious network badge only shows up in my browser when I refresh the page. I hope you can see it, below:

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