Del.icio.us: Merely tasty

Del.icio.us is one of the 23 Things I sort of don’t get. It’s not that I can’t see a lot of use for an online bookmark storage site, it’s the social part that I find a bit confusing. Sure, I can share my bookmarks (and check out the links in the sidebar for some more focused resources), and there is hype and hotlists and I can even look at the bookmarks of people who have bookmarked the same thing as me, but it doesn’t seem especially social.

I’m going to use some fools rhetoric here, and provide the Dictionary.com definition of social:

pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relation

and

living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation

These are the only two out of approximately 8 definitions that could conceivably have anything to do with del.icio.us, but really, the links are pretty tenuous. There is no scope on del.icio.us, as it exists at present, for any real interaction — I can’t comment on others’ bookmarks, I can’t find and contact people with similar bookmarks to me, I can only add my own bookmarks, and look at others’ bookmarks. And really, those two things are both pretty useful, especially when using del.icio.us for a project or a teaching aid–but they aren’t social. Del.icio.us isn’t about community building or support, and it certainly isn’t about companionship — it’s about knowledge sharing, as far as I can see (though I am willing to be corrected on this point).

There are things Del.icio.us has right, notably the tags and being able to save and share bookmarks online. It’s pretty useful to be able to subscribe to a feed of someone’s bookmarks, especially if you’re working closely with them. And with the browser plugins, it’s really easy to ‘save’ a site to your bookmarks.

There are things (besides touting itself as social bookmarking service) that Del.icio.us has wrong, though. First and foremost is the name — besides it not having anything to do with the service Del.icio.us provides, who can remember where the dots go? (They also make it a hard name to type). Another failing is that Del.icio.us uses a different tagging convention to every other piece of software I have ever used: Del.icio.us tages are space separated, where most are comma separated. Not only does this break a convention that users are accustomed to, thereby making things harder, it also makes my tags less likely to match the tags of others when talking about the same thing simply because we are likely to use different conventions for replacing the space (while I might use hyphens, they might simply run the words together). Causing a tag mismatch also seems to defeat the purpose of the site, somewhat, because finding other interesting links is dependent on sharing tags.

Del.icio.us is an example of a site that fulfills a need (online storage of bookmarks) with a few added features (tagging, sharing), but that doesn’t quite live up to its own press. It’s good at what it does, but it isn’t great, and it certainly isn’t social.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe

License

by-nc-sa.png
Some rights reserved.

Comment moderation

If it is your first time posting, your comment will automatically be held for my moderation -- I try get to these as soon as possible. After that, your comments will appear automatically. If your comment is on-topic and isn't abusing me or anyone else who comments, chances are I'll leave it alone. That said, I reserve the right to delete (or infinitely moderate) any comments that are abusive, spammy or otherwise irelevant.

%d bloggers like this: