del.icio.us, social bookmarking in the context of a viral wave of traffic

(This article was updated at 20:36 EST)

One of the most popular web 2.0 tools is social bookmarking. Even if del.icio.us started out as a way to bookmark and tag your favorites sites and blogs, it has evolved into meme in its own right by indicating trends. These trends manifest themselves by the amount of times a certain link has been saved, or by the del.icio.us/popular and del.icio.us/recent pages from the main site. Also, popurls and reaggregator sites diggdot.us.

If a core mass of users saved an article, more and more people will save the same article. Why? Because del.icio.us is a social bookmarking service, the important word being social. Users share these bookmarks and create networks.

If an interesting story is found or written, a reader will submit to a meme. This exposes the article to a lot of people, who will either like or dislike the article. This is the beginning of the viral wave of viewing, it will propagate from one blog or user to the next. Once they have found it, most people do not have the time at the moment to read it right away. From this purpose comes del.ico.us. It enables users to save bookmarks for later reading or reference.

In this perspective, del.icio.us and other social bookmarking services are much more important than memes, because a meme will only generate a short intense spurt of interest, where as if the article or story was saved by 500 people on del.icio.us will probably generate a lot more views and RSS feed subscribers.

Update

One of the main problems of the large amount of social bookmarking sites is the need for consistency among the tags. Users can tag sites and blogs any way they choose. It would be most useful for the social bookmarking sites to become standardized in their tagging systems, maybe even generating the tags automatically, once the links have been saved. This would open the door for ontologies to be created in an easier fashion, because the inheritance and logical order of the tags would be made a lot easier.

From Memoirs On A Rainy Day.

There is a surge of new sites and tools to manage your bookmarks. One thing thats important to know, is that bookmarks evolve. Rarely will bookmarks from 5 years ago still be good. For this purpose, social bookmarking has evolved into a communal tool. It’s interesting to mark you favorite sites, tag them and then see other peoples favorites sites. Tags are also the most important difference from normal bookmarks on your computer. They make navigating through your bookmarks a snap, and if you add tags correctly, you will always find relevant sites. To top that off, since youre using social bookmarking, you can see what other sites fall into the tag that you used.

Navigating the web is like exploring the deep sea or an alien planet. What you will find depends on how you search for it. Different tools will give you different results. You will find interesting things depending on the engines you use. I enjoy using technorati, google blog search, as well as elbo.ws for mp3 searches.

One of the most popular is del.icio.us, simple easy to use. de.lirio.us has also appeared, as well as simpy.com, ma.gnolia.com, categoriz, supr.c.ilio.us, unalog, shadows.com, scuttle.org, rawsugar.com and blinklist, netvous.com, spurl.net ekstreme.com/socializer are others. Blummy is a small app that runs directly on most webpages to store some links. There is also google bookmarks available.

And to end this article, let’s review Wikipedia’s entry on del.icio.us.

From Wikipedia’s entry on del.ico.us.

The website del.icio.us (pronounced as “delicious”) is a social bookmarking, social software web service for storing and sharing web bookmarks. The site came online in late 2003 and was developed by Joshua Schachter, co-maintainer of Memepool.

Everything posted to del.icio.us is publicly viewable by default, although a user can mark specific bookmarks as private, and mass-imported bookmarks are private by default. The public aspect is emphasized; it is not intended to be a tool for storing private bookmark collections. Many people use their del.icio.us RSS feed to publish “linkblogs” on their weblogs.

A non-hierarchical keyword categorization system is used on del.icio.us where users can tag each of their bookmarks with a number of freely chosen keywords (cf. folksonomy). A combined view of everyone’s bookmarks with a given tag is available; for instance, the URL “http://del.icio.us/tag/wiki” displays all of the most recent links tagged “wiki”. Its collective nature also makes it possible to view bookmarks added by similar-minded users.

del.icio.us has a front page “hotlist”, “popular” and “recent” pages that help to make the website an effective conveyor of popular internet memes and trends.

The website’s unconventional domain name, known as a domain hack, its simple HTML interface with human readable URLs, as well as a REST API and RSS feeds for web syndication, have contributed to making it one of the most popular services of its kind.

Use of del.icio.us is currently free. The source code of the site is not available, but a user’s own entered data is freely downloadable through the API.

There exist a few open source clones of del.icio.us such as de.lirio.us and sa.bros.us, as well as many competing Social bookmarking services such as BlinkList, Furl and Spurl.

del.icio.us was acquired by Yahoo! on Friday, December 9, 2005. Various guesses suggest it was sold for somewhere between $15-30 million US dollars. This would be Yahoo’s second purchase of an internet company using a domain hack, blo.gs being their first.

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5 Responses to “del.icio.us, social bookmarking in the context of a viral wave of traffic”


  1. 1 Ian July 20, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    Hey there. Good luck with this new venture!

    As usual, I don’t agree. There is no mechanism for discussing anything on delicious, as you suggest above. However, it is very important that one of these sites becomes dominant since if ‘tags’ as a project is to succeed then there needs to be interoperability and more importantly, an etiquette and standard around them.The need for an etiquette is the most pressing, in my opinion.

  2. 2 range July 20, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Ian Delaney!

    Thanks for your comments and thanks for your well wishes. This whole idea came out of discussions I had with Marc Fawzi over the weekend. It was tagged “astroturfing” by some Australian PR blogger, but we cleared the air on that one. Right now, we are concentrating on the “Think Tank” portion, that is quite interesting to say the least.

    Etiquette and the need for consistency in the tags, otherwise the tags will become irrelevant. I agree with you on this point. Because if they aren’t, how will we be able to create correct ontologies?

    I’ll correct that on discussion on del.icio.us, for some reason I was sure it was possible to discuss on that site.

    There are like you said quite a few services available. There needs to be some form of evolution in the service for one to become dominant, otherwise it will always be fractured.


  1. 1 nfp 2.0 » Blog Archive » Too much of a good thing Trackback on October 11, 2006 at 5:49 pm
  2. 2 Britney’s Crotch Shot Mania « memoirs on a rainy day Trackback on November 30, 2006 at 1:21 am
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