Do you use Del.icio.us? Do you know what it is? If you don’t know what Del.icio.us is, it is a site where, at its simplest, you can save all your bookmarks. Cool, huh? Never lose your bookmarks when you use another machine again.
It goes well beyond simple bookmarking though. For a start, you can tag your bookmarks to help you find them quickly later on. Even better though Del.icio.us also allows you to share your bookmarks (or keep them private or a combination) so people can see what interests you at any particular time. The site also publishes rss feeds for your bookmarks and tags.
Stop and think about this for a sec. People only bookmark those web pages which they think are important enough that they want to revisit them. If you have a site which has a categorised (tags), searchable list of the best web pages on the Internet, isn’t that like a Google put through a human editor process?
Once you have signed up for a (free) account with Del.icio.us, you can use a browser toolbar or a bookmarklet to drastically simplify the process of adding bookmarks to Del.icio.us. The bookmarklet option can be particularly useful if you have moved to Firefox 3.0 as the toolbar doesn’t work on FF 3.0 yet.
It is also worth noting that Del.icio.us also imports your previous bookmarks, allows you to export your bookmarks for quick backup and lets you subscribe to terms of interest so you receive up to the minute bookmarks for your subscription.
Having said all that, I have recently started to do my social bookmarking on Ma.gnolia! Why the switch away from Del.icio.us? Well, actually I am using both simultaneously with the help of Thomas Vanderwal’s Ma.Del bookmarklet. This allows me to bookmark sites in both Ma.gnolia and Del.icio.us at the same time.
Still, why Ma.gnolia? Well, Ma.gnolia has a number of things which Del.icio.us doesn’t. Ma.gnolia has a beautiful interface. It is actually pleasant to browse. Del.icio.us’ design is spartan in comparison. Ma.gnolia has a lot of support for microformats. Ma.gnolia has groups, discussions and ratings of bookmarks.
Finally Ma.gnolia has rolloed out support for APML. APML is a markup language for capturing and sharing your interests. As apml.org puts it:
APML allows users to share their own personal Attention Profile in much the same way that OPML allows the exchange of reading lists between News Readers. The idea is to compress all forms of Attention Data into a portable file format containing a description of ranked user interests
I’m not entirely sure what to do with the APML file Ma.gnolia generates but the fact that it creates it for me will, if nothing allow me to experiment.
Finally, if you are already using Del.icio.us and are considering switching, there is an import function in Ma.gnolia which allows you to bring your Del.icio.us bookmarks with you.