I’ll admit it. I read about del.icio.us several times, but I largely ignored it because it wasn’t immediately obvious what it was. Explanation by others and even the site itself left me even more confused than I was already.
I had largely given up on figuring it out before scriptygoddess mentioned it in her blog. It was enough to prompt me to give it another shot.
I finally figured out what it was, despite the impossibly vague description on their site, which reads “a social bookmarks manager”. What the hell does that mean? The “social” part of it threw me. It simply means your bookmarks are public and processed by their system. You categorize them with tags (which are simply labels) and their servers compile lists of who linked to what, the top references for a tag (category), supplies RSS feeds of your bookmarks, basically all kinds of neat stuff.
The big question is why would one want to do this. If you’re a blog developer, you might want to offer a selection of your links in your blog. If you use WordPress, you can get a plugin for it. If you’re a normal end user, you can use it as a bookmarks list you can access anywhere. Firefox has an extension to access it. Cocoal.icio.us offers a beautiful OS X interface for it. Then there’s the website itself.
The best advice I can offer is to try it out for yourself. Just sign up and play with it. That’s the only way I could get a real handle on it. I’ll be adding my bookmarks to my site shortly. In the mean time, you can check them out at the site.