By: Derrick Ypenburg
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This article is the result of me trying to put together a design and idea resource system for my growing company. I want all of our associates to use and share their ideas, inspiration and bank of design bookmarks that inspire them. I find it extremely important for myself, and my team to take time every day to find inspiration, new code, products and designs and share them. In our constant search for these gems, ideas and inspirations, the best ones and those rare finds make it to our bookmark list for future reference. The problem is, these bookmarks are in one browser only. How do we share these bookmarks and design gems with our peers? Further and most importantly, how can I do this without spending money and having to maintain some kind internal server, wiki, collaboration, crap app that no one will use after a week. This is when I found valuable uses for del.icio.us and Flickr'.
A del.icio.us. Idea!
If you are not familiar with del.icio.us, it's a social bookmarking site. It's a place where people can store all their bookmarks in one place, bookmark sites for themselves and their friends and to search what other people are looking at. And like any other good online social gathering place, its free! Find out more at http://del.icio.us (cool address eh!)
I started things off by creating an account for my company and then it was time to set things up. The rest of the process went something like this ...
Uploading Your Bookmarks
After registering, I immediately started obsessing over getting all of my bookmarks uploaded to my account. At first I was afraid of the task that lay ahead of getting all my bookmarks saved to my account. Then I saw that you can upload your bookmark HTML files from your computer. In one simple step I was able to upload all of my bookmarks to my del.icio.us account. Even the folders they were organized in were retained as 'bundles'.
Figure 1 - Uploading your bookmarks fro your computer
I then asked all of our associates to create their own del.icio.us accounts and upload their bookmarks.
Tags and Bundles - Managing bookmarks can be quite a bit of manual labor. In del.icio.us, you can organize your bookmarks with tags and bundles. A Tag is a unique categories you can associate with certain bookmarks. A single bookmark can have several tags as it may apply to more the one category such as: design, Flash, and HTML. Tags can also be grouped together in a Bundle. You may have tags for Flash, Flash Video and ActionScript. These tags can be grouped into a bundle named 'Flash Dev'.
Sharing Bookmarks - Beyond using del.icio.us to share your bookmarks with others, you use it as a place to access all of your bookmarks from anywhere on any computer that has an internet connection. I have a lot of bookmarks that link to hosting accounts, bank accounts and so on. You have a Share option for your bookmarks. If a bookmark is set not to share, anybody who is not logged into your account cannot see it. Share your bookmark and all of your associates and the whole world can see them.
Notes - You can leave notes with each bookmark to give a better description of why you bookmarked a link and what the bookmark is.
del.icio.us tagging extension for Firefox - if you use Firefox, you can download an extension from del.icio.us that is added beside your address bar, as shown below in Figure 2. You can get the extension here.
Figure 2 - del.icio.us extension for Firefox
I don't even use my bookmark button anymore. All of my new bookmarks are tagged to my del.icio.us account. If you see a page you like, simply click the TAG button.
Figure 3 - Tagging a link from Firefox
You have the option to share the link or not and you can leave notes, a description and tags right from your browser rather than having to log-in to your account to tag a link.