All the new rage, this #hashtag stuff now on Facebook. But “tagging” has been around for a long time. We used to call it Social Bookmarking, and there were several big players. Today Delicious is one of the few remaining services, along with Google Bookmarks.
Tagging your own links provides one of the best ways I know of creating organized structures for disorganized content. Or putting a framework and recall system around all of your links. Long gone are the days where “bookmark this page” is enough. And while #hashtags are also, important for recall and discovery, your own private tagging system might be even more important, in the long run. And learning to use and research on delicious is part of my critical path to social media execution.
+++ this post has been refreshed from 2011, enjoy your Summer +++
If you don’t use delicious.com perhaps now is the time to get started. Owned by Yahoo, delicious is the best way I know of to leave a bread crumb of your research for others to follow. It’s also a killer crowd-sourced index of the web on any topic you can type it. Individuals have tagged and commented on these links on a subject that you are interested in. Hand-curated links. Good stuff comes to the top quickly on Delicious.
Here’s why Delicious is so critical to your social media success.
Refinding that crucial information is as important as discovering it the first time.
Sharing your links with others is better than a single Tweet or LIKE of the information.
Social bookmarking builds a crowd-sourced index on any topic you are interested in, it’s like a curated index of the web
Organizing your mind on the web will change your experience
Sure you can always Google it again, but how much time did it take you to find that specific comment last time, tag it and forget it and it’s always there when you need it, or when you need to share it.
I have screen-grabbed a few searches I did this morning on delicious. The first one is for “healthcare” and you can see the most popular terms on the left upper corner and the overall “bookmarked” volume on the right. You can see things have been spiking in 09 on this topic. Easy to imagine why.
delicious tag search: healthcare
The second term I delicious-ed. (As opposed to Googled.) Was “pharma.”
delicious search: pharma
In this example I have excluded my own delicious bookmarks. Notice the Google-placed adds on the right hand side. So Google is getting some love on this process too.
A couple other interesting ways to explore content on delicious is to use their trending tabs. Here is the “Fresh Bookmarks” tab:
delicious tabs: fresh bookmarks
And the “popular bookmarks” tab:
delicious tabs: popular bookmarks
And the “explore tags” tabs:
delicious tabs: explore tags
Start tagging your web experience with Delicious. Or perhaps you want to look at SPARKS on the new Google+. Either way you need to find and refind information on the web. Do it in a way that provides more social connections for all of us.
It’s been a wild year. If you are a reader, I’m glad you’ve ridden through it with me. If you are new to uber.la (approximately 83% of you) let me take this opportunity to say “hello” and “thanks for stopping by.”
My Objective: Uber.la is for marketers and business owners alike. If you are a DIY type of person there is a lot of information here for free that will get you up and running with Online Marketing. I try to keep a sense of humor about the whole techie thing, while providing my real-world experience and perspective. Let me know how I can make it better, and give me a shout if you need help. — JMac
Top Social Media Marketing Posts – 2012
Working Nights and Weekends: Social Media, It’s a Trap! While much of the strategy for this client is written during business hours, a good portion of the work happens in the evening and on the weekends when the real Facebook traffic picks up. See, unlike us social media mavens, most people don’t surf Facebook or Twitter during normal office hours. I mean, why would they? It is going to help you get your work done? [READ IT]
Words vs. Design: What is Content, What Is Information Architecture? “You know it’s all blending together again,” I said. “Taxonomy, design, blog templates and css. Information architecture is a great title if you have enough work to keep billing at a high rate, but most highly-evolved designers have some IA in them. And today, if you don’t think about SEO and taxonomy, you really shouldn’t be in this business.” [READ IT]
Antibodies and Positrons: Learning Project Management & Leadership by Consensus At Dell we referred to this nay sayers as ANTIBODIES. As a project lead you found ways around them. And if you were efficient and fortunate at the same time, these antibodies would either stop coming to your meetings or at least stop impeding your progress. Because within any organization it is often the momentum that carries a project forward. [READ IT]
The heart of Google+ is called Circles. It’s how you organize and manage your network of friends, associates and possibly enemies in G+. Above is the default Circles that Google did for you.
So here’s what’s cool about restarting. You’ve got a clean slate with Google+. You can refine and redefine how you want to organize your connections. Old friends, new random “has added you to their circles,” even some old blockers are connecting on Google+. Because it’s like a wild frontier out here. And it’s no fun if your PLUSSING (kinda like a LIKE in facebook) to nobody.
And so the influence grab has started in Google+ too. Who will be the leaders? Who is the most followed? Why did Mark Zuckerberg’s Google+ profile suddenly drop off the network and then reappear? We’re all giggly about Google+ on Google+. And we’re also posting our Google+ thoughts back on Facebook and Twitter. Go figure!
Before you ADD and ADD and ADD to your circles, think about what went wrong with Twitter and Facebook. What about those experiences is less than fulfilling?
I guess that’s why my “following” (not sure I know you, but thanks for the add) and “social” (we know each other through this social media channel thing) circles are the largest at this point. I have not begun to sort or organize much in Google+. But already I’m a bit tired of the endless stream. I can look into the stream of content from ALL of my circles of any ONE of them. And in broadcasting (posting) a message, I can define if I want the message to go to my +Circles or my +Extended Circles (sort of like friends of friends) or the massively attractive +Public. Where is that Public stream shown anyway?
And one of the biggest challenges for me and Google+: How do I tag or retrieve information that passed by in the stream? I had to do some digging inside Google+ to find the graphic below. So what are the tools that will help us store and retrieve within Google+?
Well, one of the best things about Google+ at the moment is all the talk about Google+. And here, John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, nailed the Circles conversation for me.
The good news, is you get to REDEFINE how you are going to connect with people. Note to self: start over and don’t f-it up this time.
Now I just have to go implement it.
Bottom Line: Have fun, go slow. Don’t over populate your G+ until it’s as unusable as, say, Twitter without Tweetdeck.
Delicious[used to be del.icio.us before Yahoo bought them and paid for the real domain] is a powerful social bookmarking tool that’s great for organizing your bookmarks and making them available online from any computer. But its functionality goes well beyond what you would normally call bookmarking; Delicious can provide an unequaled collaborative research tool for business, and as a social networking tool, the service uses tagging to make it easy to find bookmarks that others have saved.
The following is advanced guide to getting the most out of Delicious. Please contribute to the discussion by adding your own tips to the comments.
From the Delicious home page you use the search window to find other pages that users have tagged. And the results are ranked by number of times the page has been tagged.
So on a term like “facebook virus” Delicious returns 336 results.
However unlike Google, these results are handpicked pages from other Delicious users. The top listing was tagged by 51 other users. And from that one result you have a lot of options beyond clicking the link. Clicking on the 51 returns a list of all of the people who tagged that page. Clicking on any of the tags in the listing repeats the search on Delicious for that tag. And there is a “save” option to add the page to your bookmarks. And finally, the user name of the first person to tag the page is also clickable to view that person’s main page.
Google search on the other hand returns 10,100,000 results. While the top results might be useful, the sheer number of results and the known gaming and SEO techniques used to drive listings to the top of the search pages might not necessarily give you the most useful results. If you think of Delicious as a filtered search result, 336 actual listings were tagged by actual people with the tag “facebook virus.” It’s like a hand-human selected search engine. And often the information on the delicious pages are more useful.
Notice ReadWriteWeb is the #1 listing on Delicious. You can bet that RWW has a well-researched deep discussion of the topic as opposed to PCWorld or CNET [no offense guys] that are covering the topic as a media event not as a real-world issue requiring solutions. The Google top results are written by journalists who are hoping to attract your eyeballs and sell you some anti-virus software, as opposed to working-solutions-writers for RWW who are hoping to attract your eyeballs and sell you some anti-virus software. The difference is that on Delicious your peers thought the RWW article was worth bookmarking. On Google, some SEO folks and some media conglomerate folks decided to jockey their “Facebook Virus” story up to attract your attention.
In the simplest terms, you can use Delicious any time you would use your browser to bookmark a site. Delicious provides buttons for Firefox and Internet Explorer that allow you to access the bookmarking info page remaining on the site you are interested in. Clicking on the “tag” button pops up a window over the open page and allows you to add a Title (pre-filled with the page title information), a description and any tags that make sense to you. There is also a check box “Do Not Share” that allows you to keep any of your bookmarks private. Clicking on the TAG button brings up the following screen.
You can see there are also Recommended Tags (tags that you have used previously), Network Tags (a simple way to share the link with others in your network) and Popular Tags (tags that others on Delicious have used on this page).
So in simple terms I can bookmark a site using Delicious in the same ways I would use the browser to bookmark the page. But there are a lot of other things I can do now that I’ve added a piece of content to my Delicious site.
Bookmark and share the link and your description and tags with others. [You can even set Delicious to post your links to Twitter or Friendfeed.
Find everyone else on Delicious who has bookmarked the same page.
Send your bookmark to a network of other “trusted” Delicious friends. [I can send a technical link to my dev friends and not to my entire Delicious network.]
Make a tag for a specific brand or product I am interested in and see what everyone else is bookmarking with that same tag.
Create an RSS feed of my links and tags to be read by others or used by me in a different program, like FriendFeed.
So having used Delicious since SXSWi 06 I have developed a large number of links. [9499531046 as of this article.]
And it is hard to even imaging what that number of links might look like if I pulled down my bookmarks menu in FireFox. I don’t know but something tells me it might choke.
But with Delicious I have a bunch of ways to access, sort and retrieve my collection of links. [I sometimes refer to my Delicious site as “my brain on the internet” because if it’s of major importance to me I will either blog about it or add it to my Delicious page and come back to it later.]
I can view my links as various tag clouds. [Tag clouds were just gaining popularity when Delicious was launched. Here is a post I recently wrote explaining Cloud Navigation as opposed to Cloud Computing]
I can “bundle” or create groups of links using their tags.
An example: I might have an educational website that I am interested in for both my kids to learn from but also from a programming or interface aspect. Using tags and bundles Delicious allows me to create a flexible and dynamic taxonomy of my links as I’m going along. So I collect “links” as I roam the web and easily add tags like “UI” and “education” and “math” to the pages so I can find them later. And then with bundles I can add the example page to both my “developer” bundle and my “kids” bundle.
A lot of the value of Delicious to me is using it as a capture and retrieval system. And I occasionally go into my account and clean up old tags, outdated pages and reorganize bundles and tags. And when I am done, I have a dynamic database of “my hand-selected information” that I can use myself or share with others.
And finally, Delicious as a whole is an amazingly powerful search engine for any topic that you are interested in. So rather than worry about “your” bookmarks, you can jump on Delicious and type in random tags like: “iPod, software, reset, troubleshooting” and Delicious will bring back results that actual humans spent time cataloging and creating. So the usefulness of the results are often much more accurate than a Google search, for example. And the search results are ranked by how many times a certain page was actually hand bookmarked by others using Delicious.
And that is the power of Delicious for crowd sourcing, dynamic information gathering and retrieval, and leaving a trail of bookmarks behind you as you travel the web in search of what’s next. And the search engine within Delicious might have a good handle on “what’s next too!
Additional Information: Getting Real is about getting your work done, having fun and doing it with as little extraneous effort as possible. A tip of the hat to Scott Berkun, GTD, 37 signals and 43 Folders. Without your pathfinding, where would I be?