While both sites have similar functions, one is for any site that you put into your links list, and the other is more for news stories, but it appears that the stories must be "diggable" (most news sites offers this option now, and not only for Digg but also for many other social bookmarking applications). Digg does have an option where you can go to their website after you've found a link that you want to "digg" and put the URL into their site. That seems like a great deal more work, however (there is an add-on toolbar for Firefox to make this easier)! The Digg FAQ was very helpful in answering many of the questions that I had. I did not find the Del.icio.us help page very useful, but it did answer some of the basic questions about this tool.
This tool could prove extremely useful in the world of academia! Teachers and students now have numerous ways to not only bookmark their favorite sites (not the primary function of these applications though) but also share, tag, and rate sites for their own personal purposes or for others. Some uses for teachers, students, and in telecollaboration are:
- gathering sources to share with students or classmates that are all organized, categorized and/or rated
- guiding classes in a computer lab by directing them only to specific sites instead of taking time to search for various sites(would be great for younger classes so they only have one link to type!)
- guiding students in the rating process of sites; the teacher could provide a rating rubric similar to what we have done in class, but also use Digg to rate them for others
- creating lists of links to share (perfect for telecollaboration when classes cannot physically be together)
- doing research in class/at home and bookmarking the sites for later use
All in all, I would consider social bookmarking with my students, especially with my telecollaboration project, but I do not really have a need to use it personally. I see its benefits, but I am not all that impressed by it to feel the need to use it regularly. If you are interested check out Digg or Del.icio.us or even BlinkList, Reddit, or StumbleUpon.