Del.icio.us is built to help you share your personal world of information with other Web surfers. However, your profile information is limited to your username and a Web home page, so you'll be judged by the content of your bookmarks, not by the color of an avatar. You can also create a network of fellow users. To find out whenever a Del.icio.us expert on, say, birds adds a bookmark about parrots, you can subscribe to e-mail or RSS updates by tag and by user. We also like that you can specify content rights for your own feed, whether you'd like to reserve all rights to your collection or claim a Creative Commons license.
You can group together related tags with labels and bundles. But we wish Del.icio.us had the intelligence to recognize potentially duplicate tags, especially for those with more than one word. Do a search for "San Francisco," for instance, and you call up 3,753 bookmarks. But look up "Sanfrancisco" (6,325 bookmarks), "Francisco" (16,481), or the dreaded "Frisco" (270), and you get a sense of the challenge. We haven't found a bookmarking site yet that addresses such potential tag overlaps. Should you use the tag "maps" (which has 6,701 bookmarks) or "mapping" (17,000 bookmarks)? Maybe both. If you change your mind, you can rename specific tags at any time. But we couldn't find a way to select a number of bookmarks to delete them at once; instead, we had to erase unwanted items one by one.
Support for Del.icio.us is available online in the form of basic explanations of the features, but you can't search this content. You can send an e-mail message for help. We received a reply within 24 hours. A Yahoo Del.icio.us user group puts you in touch with peers.
If you're in the mood to run into random Web pages, Del.icio.us leaves users to make those connections for each other. There are no Del.icio.us algorithms to attempt to suggest content that might be up your alley, unlike StumbleUpon, which can be more fun for casual browsing. Also, Del.icio.us doesn't function as an RSS newsreader, so if you're more interested in the latest news and blogs, you should check out Digg, Bloglines, or the Technorati blog search. However, Del.icio.us is a solid tool with plenty of features for locating and revisiting interesting Web sites. And due to its loyal user base of early adopters, Del.icio.us contains the biggest pool of users among the ranks of bookmarking services, which leaves more shared content available for you to dig up.
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