OLJ Task – Critical evaluation of Delicious

Social bookmarking, a Web 2.0 application, is a collaborative information service that enables Internet users to identify and label web content with ‘tags’ or keywords for later use. The capacity to access those tags from any networked computer or smart phone provides the additional benefits to users.

Delicious, a popular social bookmarking site, founded in 2003 and recently acquired by AVOS, was re-launched in September 2011, with a new focus on curation and discovery. There was much outrage and mixed comments in the social media ( O’Connell, 2011; Valenza, 2011) regarding site performance, however, the revamped site offers new enhanced features and functions ( Delicious, 2012 ). The new  features include stacks, multi-word tags, media previews, category browsing, the ability to collaborate on stacks  making it highly appealing to individuals and organisations.

Delicious has a simple interface, is easy to use and is backed up with sufficient support documents, however, some online tutorials will be useful. Initially Delicious had an online forum to interact with users but that has now been replaced by Facebook and Twitter and site updates are provided through the Delicious blog. Privacy is a critical factor on the Internet and Delicious takes into consideration when sharing stacks or setting personal or corporate profiles. The minimum requirements are an email and a password and users can create a public or private profile and upload a profile picture. Links can be saved to the profiles using the bookmarklet that can be easily added to any browser, however, it is optimised for IE9 and Firefox. On the other hand the bookmarklet provides a ‘push button content generation’, a feature of social curation sites such as Pinterest and enables users to create sets of curated content called stacks on Delicious. Users can browse the Delicious community by 12 different categories which enables quick discovery of their preferred subjects through the stacks.

A great way to organise and present the links is through stacks. A stack is a collection of links on a common topic or category. According to Valenza (2011) Delicious stacks is a ‘kind of fusion of bookmarking, microblogging, curating, and sharing– beefs up and prettifies its popular bookmarking service’. The stacks can be customized for a particular course related research or project with an appropriate image, title and a description. Using a visually appealing stack with strong graphics is a great way to present a more dynamic view of the links rather than a search tag result or a tag cloud. Unfortunately not all links come with images and currently users cannot upload any graphic images or photographs. This might be to prevent copyright breaches and to avoid inappropriate images on a collaborative bookmarking site but Internet is full of all types of strong graphic images.

Web 2.0 has revolutionised the means at our disposal to filter and share information and Delicious achieves this through ‘filter by tags’. Sharing and following users is via email but it has to be verified before any sharing occurs. Users can share a stack on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the ‘like’ or ‘tweet’ buttons allowing more social interaction.

The power of Delicious lies in the social networking aspects that enable users to see what other users with similar interest are discovering and to follow other users’ stacks and catch up with updates through email, feeds and RSS. In addition new social features allow users to collaborate on stacks, add comments and suggest new links for stacks which takes social bookmarking to a new level of collaboration and content creation. The exchange of information through ‘share’, ‘follow’ ‘invite’ and ‘collaboration on stacks’ supports social learning and integration with Facebook and Twitter opens it to a wide range of users. The way Delicious is evolving shows how social media will transform the the way users discover and interact with content over time.

For libraries it offers enormous opportunities for collection development and in supporting distance education. It provides educational institutions with a great platform for teaching, learning and resource collaboration.

References

AVOS. (2012). AVOS. Retrieved 20 January 2012, < http://www.avos.com/&gt;

Charles Sturt University. (2011). I am sisocialmedia on Delicious. Retrieved 22 January, 2012. <http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/INF506_201190_W_D&gt;

Delicious. (2012). Delicious blog. Retrieved 22 January 2012, <http://www/delicious.com&gt;

Gil,E. (2012, January 4). How Pinterest will transform the Web in 2012: Social content curation as the next big thing [web log post]. Retrieved from http://blog.eladgil.com/2011/12/how-pinterest-will-transform-web-in.html

O’Connell, J. (2011, September 28). Social bookmarking not so Delicious anymore (web log post). Retrieved 20 January. <http://heyjude.wordpress.com/page/2/&gt;

Valenza, J. (2011, September 28). Delicious stacks [web log post]. Retrieved 20 January  2012, <http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/neverendingsearch/2011/09/28/delicious-stacks/&gt;

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