If you keep all of your bookmarks in the bookmarks bar of your browser, it's likely that you'll end up with a giant list of websites that's harder to navigate than the Strait of Magellan. If you're in a situation like this, you should sign up for Delicious, a social bookmarking service that recently rolled out a major upgrade to its website.
For those who are new to online bookmarking, here's a brief rundown. Instead of keeping all of your bookmarks on one computer's web browser, online bookmarking lets you put your bookmarks on the Internet so you can access them from any computer. Also, you can organize your bookmarks by "tagging" them into different categories (for example, Blogcritics.org could be tagged as "news", "reviews", "blogs" or all of the above). Delicious takes online bookmarking one step further by making it social; your bookmarks are available to everyone else on the site unless you choose to make them private. You can share your bookmarks with your network of friends, colleagues or whoever else you want.
I have been using Delicious for over a year now, and it has been really useful. I use it to keep track of online sources for school projects, which makes it easy to put together a bibliography. When I had to work on a project with a partner, I got him to sign up and we could both see what sites that the other was using for research. Delicious has also helped me discover tons of cool sites that I would never have found otherwise (like the J! Archive, which features almost every clue that has ever been shown on Jeopardy!).
The new release of Delicious comes with a new web address, moving from del.icio.us to delicious.com. This was a welcome change for me, as I often typed in del.ico.us or some other misspelling. In their blog, the Delicious team claimed that the new site was "faster and more delightful to use…". That was something I had to see for myself. Here's my review of the new Delicious.com.
The older version of Delicious, while functional, was not a joy to look at. After a year of weird color combinations (like blue on salmon pink) and bookmarks crammed closely together, I was glad to see that the new Delicious has a bold yet simple design that is a big improvement. The new website makes it easier to read your bookmarks at a glance by providing bigger spacing between links and keeping the bookmark's tag separate from the rest of the information. Also, the pink bars that showed the popularity of each bookmark have been replaced with neat blue boxes. Another change is that the list of tags that filled up the entire right side of the page can now be hidden and then brought back with a single click.
Overall, I think that the new design is a big improvement. My only complaint is that my bookmarks, after you click on them for the first time, are written in a much too light baby blue type. It takes a second for my eyes to focus on them. Otherwise, the bold new look is a welcome change from the previous version.
FASTER SEARCH ENGINE
Delicious has a search engine that combs through all the bookmarks that users have saved. It's not as comprehensive or reliable as a major search engine like Google or Yahoo!, but it's nice to know that every result you see was liked by at least one person, who saved it as a bookmark. I was reluctant to use it on the older website because it was really slow, and sometimes made my browser crash. Now, the new search engine is several times faster. It also features a drop-down menu that lets you control what part of the website you are searching (your bookmarks, your network's bookmarks, everyone's bookmarks, or a single person's bookmarks). The new search engine is a great asset to the website, and is one of the highlights of the new release.
EASY TO EXPLORE
Delicious is a great way to find cool new websites and check the collective pulse of the web. Just like the previous version, the most popular bookmarks of the day are featured on the website's homepage. To see what bookmarks are being saved right now, click on the new box that shows what and how many sites have been bookmarked in the last minute. You can find sites under a particular tag by going to the new "explore" page under the tags menu. There haven't been many changes to this function of the site, but it works well.
THE DELICIOUS ADD-ON
Delicious has created an add-on for Firefox or Internet Explorer that makes it easy to save and use your bookmarks. It's not compatible with Safari, but you can still make it a lot easier to use Delicious by bookmarking (with your browser, not Delicious) your bookmarks page and the URL where you can save a new bookmark. You can get all of those things at Delicious's site.
The new release of Delicious isn't perfect, but it's much better than the earlier version. Hopefully, the few problems will be straightened out eventually. There has been no better time to get a Delicious account. It's free, and I guarantee it will change the way you use the web.