Saturday, May 30, 2009

A "Delicious" alternative to Google Search

I have been a member of Delicious for a long time now. I have used it primarily to bookmark all of the great websites I find online. I am a big fan of social bookmarking. However, it has only been within the last year that I really started taking advantage of the "social" aspect of  social bookmarking.

For those of you who are not on the social bookmarking wagon yet, here is a short summary. Traditional bookmarking of sites consisted of adding them to your favorites. You can add the site and place it in a folder. While this is helpful it has limitations. The major limitation is that you can only access these favorites from the computer you saved them on. You are also limited in the how you can organize them for retrieval.

Social bookmarking is web based. You can access your boomarked sites from any computer with an internet connection. These services also allow you to add 'tags" to your  bookmarks. Tags are keywords that you assign to a bookmark. You use these tags to organize and search your bookmarks. You can bundle your tags to be better organized. This is the equivalent of putting them in folders.  By downloading some toolbar buttons you can add and access sites in your delicious account right from your Internet explorer or firefox toolbar.

The most power feature of social bookmarking is the "social" aspect.  Delicous and other social boomarking services are a network. You not only have access to sites that you bookmark, but you also have access to sites that other delicious users bookmarked. The service allows you to add members to your network to make it easy to view their bookmarks. You may be interested in this if you know of other users that share the same interests or profession. You do not have to have someone as part of your network to search their bookmarks.

This is the feature that i have only started to really use in the past year. It has replaced about 40% of my Google searches. You can search by tags on the site. The results that are returned will be seperated by 1. sites you bookmarked, 2.S ites your network bookmarked, 3 Sites that users on delicious bookmarked.

A simple search on "smartboard Math" returned hundreds of websites that other delicous users had bookmarked. What a time saver. Instead of sifting through thousands of google results i have  list of a couple hundred pre-approved sites. Other users thought these sites were good enough to bookmark. If one of these people are in my network then the validity and relevancy of the result is even stronger.

Planning a trip? A tag search of "rome" and possibly "restaurants" should provide a variety of bookmarked sites.  What about "social studies" "lesson plans"?

Every  post has a number at the end of it. This is the number of people who also bookmarked this site. By clicking on the number you get to see the usernames of the people. This is a great way to add users to your network that share a common interest.

Delicious has become one of the web2.0 tools that i use everyday. As it grows and my network grows it is becoming even more valuable. I encourage you to check out this resource.  I have put together a social bookmarking tutorial page on my wiki. There are printable instructions for using delicious as well as screencast tutorials.


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