del.icio.us – your weblog to go

It took a while before I understood the simplicity and power of del.icio.us.

The system is described as…

…a social bookmarks manager. Using simple bookmarklets, you can add bookmarks to your list and categorize them.

So what does that mean? Basically, del.icio.us is a bookmark database and you can create your personal account allowing to place bookmarks in it as you go. This is done by a simple bookmarklet that posts your current URL to the site, allowing you to add more meta data before you finally store it with a second click. This is fast. And it‘s powerful, as many other people use the service in parallel and quite often it happens that your browsing habits match that of others eventually placing the same bookmark in the database at the same time (day). Another page puts together the most popular links of the last day.

The main index – of course syndicated via RSS – now puts together a list of all dropped bookmarks, aggregating those links that have been submitted by more than one party. As each bookmark can be attributed by one or more “tags”, you can also search for hot links by category. All this comes in fast-loading, slim XHTML.

So you can both enjoy an evaluated list of bookmarks submitted in real time and have your own personal blog with zero effort. Have a look at my personal del.icio.us page to follow me surfing the web.

This is true weblogging and an interesting application of the “social” type. A couple of hacks contributed by third parties show even more potential (e.g. integrating del.icio.us in you Movable Type blog etc.). The functionality of the site if also exposed via a simple REST API allowing for web applications to easily read and write to the database using standard HTTP methods with basic authentication.

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