Del.icio.us is a website used for social bookmarking. What is social bookmarking you might ask? Well, I had to look up some answers in order to tell you more because I was a bit wrong in my personal definition. Check out this wonderful link that tells 7 Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking. I found it extremely helpful and informative.
I had previously thought that Social Bookmarking was a way of bookmarking your favorite websites online without the possibility of losing your list of bookmarks! I was wrong! Social bookmarking actually allows you to tag these websites on a public site so that others can easily find what they are looking for or have a more clear picture in regards to what a site is actually promoting/describing. Some sites can be listed as public while others are listed as private. The PDF link above also describes some of the pitfalls with social bookmarking, one of which is the manner in which sites are tagged. For example, if I only tag this blog as "blog", but not technology, reviews, or even Web 2.0, I am not really helping anyone out or giving true perspective on purpose of this blog.
Social bookmarking is almost like a huge Dewey Decimal System for websites! Since anyone can do this with a free account, the same site could be tagged hundreds of times with a variety of tags. For example, I did a quick search of my gradebook program, SnapGrades, and it returned with 109 results for the same exact site!
Del.icio.us is simply one of many social bookmarking sites in existence currently. I tried to sign up today, but I am awaiting the reactivation of my old Yahoo account. Apparently, you cannot register without one. That part was a huge downfall for me, because I do not really want to reactivate my Yahoo account nor do I want to sign up for a new one. You can still perform searches without registering, which is helpful. I like the fact that you put in more than one tag and usually come up with more than 100 results! You can search by bookmarks, by user, and by tags (keywords). If you cannot find what you are looking for with one of the search methods, you have two others to try.
One of the huge upsides to sites like Del.icio.us is the ability to share lists of resources with each other, especially with students. This would play a major role in telecollaboration because it would allow students and teachers to share and comment on numerous resources at their disposal. Teachers could spend less time continuously seeking resources through Google or Bing by using social bookmarking instead. It may not come up with all of the desired results, however.
Once my account was reactivated, I did also enjoy the fact that you could import current bookmarks into Del.icio.us. You first have to export the bookmark files though! Here is an example of bookmarks that I could share amongst other Spanish teachers in my department, the county, or anywhere! I did not find the site to be completely user-friendly at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was not awful. There are a lot of steps to go through in order to make sites public versus private, delete sites you don't want at all, and edit tags/other information. I would like to explore some other sites such as Digg and Blinklist.
Check out this site for more information regarding how to begin using and creating social bookmarking.