Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Use del.icio.us to make link-blogs for your friends

We all send interesting links to our friends. My wife and my college roommate used to get deluged with links whenever I caught up with sites like BoingBoing and Gizmodo. But a few months ago I decided to stop sending them a link every time I read something interesting.

Instead, I started tagging links in del.icio.us with their names.

Del.icio.us is a site that stores links in an online database for you. More than that, you can install a browser plugin with a button that instantly displays the link dialog for the current page, so it's quick and convenient to link a site. And you can make up new tags on the spot. Tags are ad-hoc keywords you assign to sites, and once you've assigned one, you can, at any time, display a list of all the sites in your list with the same tags.

So, to store a link for my wife, I just use her name when I bookmark the site using del.icio.us. If I also want my old roomie to read the site, I add his name too. I don't have to go through a separate process to create a tag; I just start using it.

And because del.icio.us' default sort order for links is last-linked-first....it's like a reverse chronology of your browsing...a blog about your reading. You can see the stream of things I've been linking here.

And you can store comments about each link. So saving links to del.icio.us can be very much like blogging about the sites you read.

It's not the same as e-mailing them a site. They're only just getting used to going to the web site to look at this stream of links. But I like to think it's a lot nicer than drowning them with whatever has hit my fancy of a coffee-drenched morning. I know, in my more lucid moments, that my caffeinated enthusiasm isn't always discerning.


  1. > They're only just getting used to
    > going to the web site to look at
    > this stream of links.

    Teach them to use an rss reader, then they can subscribe to the rss feed for the tag that is their name. For example, I could start tagging things aarond and you could subscribe to http://del.icio.us/rss/dcramer/aarond