State of social bookmarking

Social bookmarking might have been a good idea that never got traction. So seems the conclusion of this posting in CogDogPile. The concept was grand – shared resource collection- which was how I always presented it in my search classes; and many libraries adopted it – for a time – for their clientele. But collections mean weeding, updating, maintaining – all tasks that don’t get done. And good bookmarking so that others can benefit requires disciplined tagging, the kind that is done with help from controlled vocabulary. Without that the collection is much less useful to other users.

On Old School Social Bookmarking, CogDogPile (Feb 5)

Posting does describe some tools that collection builders might use: Delicious, Diigo, Google Form, Pinboard, and subReditt (maybe).

Delicious 10 years old

Delicious, the social bookmarking site, is still with us after 10 years – where many others aren’t. It has had a tumultuous ride with redesigns that added function and then took it away. Here’s another revamp – not enitrely for the good, but maybe it’s too soon to know..

Ten Years of Delicious – Same Ingredients, Brand New Flavor Delicious Blog (Sept 10)

View it at

  • restored tag bundles – can create new ones, thought I haven’t figured out how to change existing ones.
  • bookmark item shows the date you added it. Good – I won’t have to note that in the description.

But where’s the search box? Must go back to the main to search.  I searched for Google Glass and was surprised to see no recent bookmarks.  But I’ve also noticed that results aren’t ranked by anything obvious – such as date, or number of times bookmarked, or obvious relevancy (true for some time) – and therefore a recent bookmark could show pages later.

I’d like to see Delicious continue, but suspect social bookmarking is losing its popularity.

Postscript (Sep 12): A former student in one of my classes wrote to say she found the search box. ” Finding the nearly invisible Search function on the new beta Delicious page on the user page took a while, but it is there –> in the blue banner on the left hand side, in the unmarked field immediately above “My Links” “.  Thanks T for letting me know.  It was very well disguised.

New Delicious

The new Delicious for managing and sharing bookmarks is now live and receiving favourable reviews. Matt McGee at Marketing Land called it a winner — The New Is Now Live & Looks Like A Winner (Jan 11)

Loyal users will likely be pleased, and people to whom using an online bookmarking service is new could be attracted to it.

The appearance is clean and pleasing.

A panel on the right displays all information about a bookmark. This includes an image from the page and comments people have added.This panel lets one “pivot” on a user – clicking on the name to see that person’s profile and tags – and to follow, if desired.

On an individual’s account, the left panel has list of tags which can be sorted by count or alphabetically, and tag bundles (if any). On a search at Delicious, the left panel has list of related tags.

Bookmarks are public by default, but they can be marked as private.

A bookmark in search results will show some tags assigned – but not all. To see all tags for a page, search on the url in Delicious – then view the related tags.

One can still somewhat pivot on tags – but it’s easier to run the search with #, as in #e-learning.

Delicious still does not allow two words as a tag – must make word phrases (such as web search) into one word or a hyphenated word, or use two tags (eg web and search).  This can make searching Delicious more challenging since the user must think of the variations.

Good news is that tag bundles still exist for individual accounts and new bundles are easy to create from tags being used. However, I don’t see a way to search for them, or to see how a bookmark has been bundled.

Conclusion: There is a fair amount of function – still not as much as in its heyday – and you have to look for it.  You will definitely want to read the Help page.  If you are an existing user, be sure to get the new bookmarklet from Tools for your browser’s bookmarks bar – the old one won’t work.

Postscript Jan 23, 2013 – I didn’t notice this earlier, but delicious designers dropped the date the item was bookmarked on the main display!  It does show on the single panel on the right for a selected bookmarks – but it looks like the most recent date, not the first. Hiding date like this greatly diminishes the usefulness of the service when searching across bookmarks, reviewing your own collection, or assessing what others have saved. Number of times a page was bookmarked is hidden too – and only shows in the right panel for the selected item. I think it’s clear that the designers never read the articles on how people used delicious to navigate.