What is it and how does it work?
Delicious is a social bookmarking tool, which allows users to bookmark, tag and share websites that catch their interest as they go about browsing the Internet. While all Internet browsers are equipped with a bookmarking function, the websites bookmarked thereby remain stored on a single machine. With Delicious bookmarks are stored online and can be accessed from any computer, anywhere. This means that users will never have to remember a URL; it's right in their Delicious bookmarks, easily recalled with the tags they assigned to it.
Also, since Delicious users are free to assign their own unique tags to the websites they bookmark, they can easily keep websites organized by attributing common tags to them. What's more is that Delicious offers an add-on for Firefox browsers that, when installed, provides users with handy Delicious buttons so that content can be tagged on a whim, without having to visit the Delicious homepage.
Delicious is more than just a means of keeping track of ones own Internet interests, it is a social network first and foremost and emphasizes the 'public' aspect of the bookmarks - all bookmarked websites are publicly viewable and accessible unless the user specifies it as private at the time of bookmarking. Delicious users are encouraged to make connections with other likeminded users so that information can be quickly shared and users can 'discover' new and potentially interesting Internet content easily.
Signing up for a Delicious account is quick and easy. New users need only enter their given name and surname and select a unique username and password. Once that has been taken care of, the account registration must be confirmed and then bookmarking can begin.
Delicious for journalists
For journalists who spend a lot of time online, Delicious could very well be a dream come true. While some users bookmark their daily comics and other Internet fodder that may be of little interest to anybody but himself or herself, journalists can put Delicious to work in the research and publishing stages of their work.
Online research can be a daunting task. The Internet is so saturated with information on every topic imaginable that it is difficult to keep it all organized based on what is helpful for the article being researched. Traditional bookmarking on a browser keeps bookmarks hidden and, unless the journalist separates their bookmarks into distinct folders, muddles them together in a single list. By setting Delicious as the browser's homepage, a journalist need only start up their browser and be presented with their bookmarked webpages, organized according to the tags they assigned themselves. These bookmarks are then searchable by their unique tags and the tags are listed in a panel to the right of the screen for even faster information retrieval.
Researching for articles can even be done on Delicious itself. In keeping with the fact that there is, simply, too much information online for any one person to find all the relevant information on their own, journalists using Delicious can count on their fellow Delicious users (to a certain extent) to point them in a potentially useful direction. Using the search function on the Delicious website will direct researching journalists to websites that have been tagged by other users with a specific query. For example, a journalist researching potatoes need only type that work into the search field and wait to be presented with a long list of related bookmarks.
Journalists engaging in joint research with a colleague can join the network of the colleague for seamless sharing of information. If research partners are not able to physically be in the same spot Delicious allows them to still share the same information almost simultaneously. By selecting a common tag for all webpages related to the article being researched, two or more journalists using Delicious can network and glean information off each other without even speaking with each other or taking the time to send an e-mail. In this sense, Delicious acts as a virtual office.
Furthermore, journalists looking for ideas and inspiration for articles can use Delicious to track web trends and keep abreast of what is new and popular online at any given moment. The Delicious homepage provides users with a list of "the most popular bookmarks on Delicious right now," in the form of a sidebar, and even a tally of how many sites have been bookmarked in the past minute. This is, essentially, a living archive of what Delicious users are looking at, and in real time. While some of the bookmarks may prove useless, there may very well be an inspiring diamond in the rough that could develop into an interesting article.
Once research is complete and articles have been written, Delicious can serve as a tool for publishing your work and marketing it to others who are part of your Delicious network. By bookmarking articles and tagging them with common words, journalists can increase web traffic to their online articles. The marketing aspect of Delicious works best if ones network is larger, but if by chance a Delicious user searches something related to a bookmarked article, having all articles of that journalist tagged similarly could lead to more than one being read.
News events where Delicious has made a difference
The ways in which Delicious would make a difference are not in the spotlight. Delicious doesn't break news like other web tools, it works behind the scenes and in the preparatory stages of writing primarily.
History Delicious was developed in 2003 by Joshua Schachter and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.