03 April 2010

Thing 11: Social Bookmarking

What I love about Delicious is that it makes it easy to save and organize bookmarks so they're accessible from any computer.  I can tag different sites by course or text, and I like that things can be easily cross-referenced, as opposed to placed in just one folder. 

The sharing/social dimension of Delicious is great too, at least in theory.  I like the potential for a community of people with similar interests to collaborate in building a list of useful resources.  It might be a great way for students to assist each other in finding resources that help them make sense of units or texts we're covering in class (although as soon as I write that, I'm imagining all the sites they'd bookmark that I don't want them even looking at, like Sparknotes and Clifs Notes, etc.).  And it could certainly help me share info with colleagues as we're planning units.

But what I find extremely frustrating about the site is that it's hard to find that community without a lot of trial and error.  The public profiles don't provide a whole lot of information, so it's impossible to search "high school English teachers" and find people that way.  When I do come across a site that others have tagged, I don't know whether the users are students looking for essay ideas or teachers who think the material on the site is good for lesson planning.  I can start figuring out how reliable or credible I consider other users by looking at the whole list of their bookmarks, but I really wish that process was streamlined a bit. 

Furthermore, and it might make me seem like a nitpicker, but I hate that Delicious doesn't automatically open links in a new window. If you're doing a search for something, and you get a big list of things that might be relevant, isn't it common sense that you're going to check out more than one of the sites? I think having to use the back button is annoying, and that it's logical and useful in this context to facilitate easy comparison of sites by opening them in new windows. I recognize users do ultimately have control of this - I know to use the control button when I click on the link to arrange this for myself, but I think that should be the default.

So I like the bookmarking, but think the whole social part of the sharing is only mediocre.


  1. True the social aspect is not perfect but it's better than nothing. I have been able to view the bookmarks of other people that have similar interests to me and was surprised to find some sites that I knew nothing about. So, you can find a few gems.

  2. I have not truly explored bookmarks of other people to the extent that I should, but for myself this tool was worth the 23 Things project - I love it!