Introduction to del.icio.us

In an earlier post “How to do categories” a simple method was described using del.icio.us as a workaround for doing categories for Blogger. However, a reader has indicated that she is not familiar with del.icio.us tagging system. That is the reason for this post.

Del.icio.us is a popular online public bookmarking system that is now owned by Yahoo and is a big improvement over the conventional bookmarking system. In the conventional bookmarking system, the bookmarks are stored in individual computers. This means that when you are away from the computer, the bookmarks are not available. Also, when the bookmarks become too numerous, they become difficult to find.

The advantage of Del.icio.us bookmarking system is that the bookmarks are available wherever you have access to the Internet. You can also organize bookmarks through tags (words that describe an item saved on del.icio.us), which make them easy to find later, you can see which are the sites popularly tagged by others, or find related sites tagged by others. For example, you have an interest in astronomy, you do a search for astronomy, and there you will find a tag for astronomy. You click on the astronomy tag, and you will see all the sites which had been tagged with the tag astronomy on the page.

Del.icio.us is a wonderful resource I would recommend to anyone. To sign up for Del.icio.us go to http://del.icio.us/ and choose your user name and password. After you register, you will be taken to a page where you can install an extension for Firefox as shown in screenshot.(If you are still using only Internet Explorer, I would highly recommend you to switch to Firefox as it is a better and more secure browser. To read why you should have Firefox, and also to download Firefox with the Google toolbar, go to Firefox Alert. After you install the Firefox extension, you will see 2 buttons on the toolbar – “My del.icio.us” button and the “Tag this” button. This is very convenient. When you click on the My del.icio.us button, you will be taken to a page where all your tagged sites are displayed. When you want to tag a site, all you have to do is to surf to the site, then click the “Tag this” button and a pop-up will appear (see second screenshot). Here you will enter the name of the tags for the site (you can name one or more than one tags). You can also select the recommended tags shown below. In the screenshot (click on image to enlarge it),I have selected the tags blogger and tools for the site. You may also jot notes in the 3rd box (not compulsory). When you are satisfied, you click SAVE and it is done. When you click the My del.icio.us button you will now see the tagged site displayed. See http://del.icio.us/dummies. Also, on the top right hand corner, you will see all the tags you have use. The tags I have used for an account I set up for this blog are Introduction, Basic, General, Blogger_specific, Popular_or_useful, AdSense and Increase Traffic. If I click on General, I will see all the sites I have tagged with the tag General. This property can be used to do categories for Blogger.

Blogger has no provision for doing categories. Del.icio.us has been widely used as a workaround to make categories for Blogger. To see a simple method which this blog used, go to “How to do categories”.

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