Some of our staff members use del.icio.us for personal/professional purposes. Those of us who do brainstormed that it would be a good thing to move our (extensive, heavily used by reference librarians and some departments) subject pages to having del.icio.us-fed web-resource sections that were managed by the subject librarian rather than by the library webmaster. This is, we hope, going to streamline organization of these subject pages, put workload and control in the hands of the subject specialists, and generally allow us to be as responsive as we care to be.
The stumbling block was that, while all are willing, not all are able, because not all use del.icio.us, or have even looked at it. So I volunteered to do a training session tomorrow morning. I’ve put it up in the staff wiki, for hands-on use in the classroom, and for them to consult later.
When I Twittered that I was doing a training guide for del.icio.us, I got a request for the link — but our wiki’s locked; staff only. So I’m putting it here. It’s not perfect, it’s certainly not pretty… but I hope it’s a good, basic guide to getting started, seeing what it does, and helping my colleagues to learn more.
Using del.icio.us: The basics.
What is it?
a) A Website: http://del.icio.us/
b) a social bookmarking website
c) a social bookmarking website that we’re going to be using to update subject pages.
d) all of the above.
What does it do?
“del.icio.us is a social bookmarking website — the primary use of del.icio.us is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too. On del.icio.us, you can use tags to organize and remember your bookmarks, which is a much more flexible system than folders.
You can also use del.icio.us to see the interesting links that your friends and other people bookmark, and share links with them in return. You can even browse and search del.icio.us to discover the cool and useful bookmarks that everyone else has saved — which is made easy with tags.” from del.icio.us About
Also, it can provide an RSS feed from any tag used by an account, which is what we’ll be feeding into our subject pages.
How do I get to it?
What do I do first?
First, log in. The login link is in the upper right hand corner of the main page.
The new College Libraries login that we will be sharing is:
How do I add things to it?
You can add things directly in del.icio.us.
- Click on POST.
- Enter the URL you want to save
- Click SAVE
- Add a DESCRIPTION: This is the name/title of the website, and displays most prominently in del.icio.us
- Add a NOTE: This is a descriptive sentence or two which will display below and in smaller text than the DESCRIPTION.
- Add TAGS: These are the subject categories for websites. Tags are user-defined, and free-text. Tags may not have spaces — that is, two words separated by a space are interpreted as two separate tags. Since the tag is the data point that will drive our RSS feeds, we will define our tags together as we work on each subject page; don’t start making them up for the College Libraries account!
- Click SAVE
The website is now added to the del.icio.us account, and shows at the top of the list on the main page.
How do I edit things?
What if you don’t like what you did, how it displays, or what you tagged it?
To edit your saved links:
- Click on EDIT to the right of the DESCRIPTION of the link you want to modify.
- Change the fields displayed until they’re just how you want them.
- Click SAVE.
To delete a saved link:
- Click on DELETE to the right of the link.
- del.icio.us will ask you to confirm — “Do you want to delete?”
- Click YES or NO.
Other Things del.icio.us Can Do
- Browse your (or all) tags as a cloud, a list, sorted alphabetically or by popularity.
- Click on your tags to find all of your web pages labeled “libraries” or “knitting” or “reference”.
- Click on “all” for a tag to find the web pages labeled “facebook” or “US_history” or “cellphones” by ALL users.
- Click on “popular” for a tag to find the web pages labeled “2.0” or “SUNYLA” or “printers” by the MOST people.
- You can click “SAVE THIS” on any link saved by someone else to add it to your del.icio.us list.
- You can identify friends and colleagues who are using del.icio.us, and see what they’ve posted and saved — either individually, or by viewing your “network”.
- When you post a page to your account, you an add the tag “for:username” to send it to a friend or colleague who’s using del.icio.us.
- del.icio.us provides an RSS feed for any user account, any user’s specific tags, or all users’ specific tags.
- del.icio.us will auto-suggest several tags for a post based on what tags other people have used.
Tips and Tricks
Adding links manually on the del.icio.us page is basic and works well, but it’s not efficient. Instead… Use the browser buttons.
- The default page gives instructions for installing them into Firefox.
- This page has instructions for IE.
- This page has instructions for Safari.
When you’ve installed the buttons, you can browse to any webpage, and if you want to save it, click the “Post to del.icio.us” button. The browser will then take you to the data-entry screen for a link, and will auto-fill the DESCRIPTION and URL fields. After you click save, the browser will return to the page you were on before you clicked the “Post to del.icio.us” button.
There is also an official Firefox extension for del.icio.us, which puts two buttons in the browser bar next to the the buttons for Home, Print, Refresh, etc. One button takes you to your del.icio.us account, and the other is for saving pages. Instead of replacing your page with a del.icio.us data-entry screen, the button creates a pop-up del.icio.us window in which you can describe the site without leaving the original page.