Contrary to what you might imagine, Delicious is nothing to do with Delia Smith, or even, for a change, Jamie Oliver. You can’t actually taste Delicious, but you can have lots of fun with it. It’s a website that allows you to save and share your bookmarked favourite pages from websites or blogs, and was created in 2003 by Joshua Schachter. This former Morgan Stanley analyst made a fortune two years later by selling his website to Yahoo (for, rumour has it, the modest sum of $30 million). We owe the whole concept of the "social bookmarking" website to him. But, what exactly is "social bookmarking"?
Instead of filing your favourite websites and blogs in your browser’s bookmark section, you store them on a social bookmarking website, like Delicious. All you have to do is open an account on the Delicious website, which is of course free. You make your selection of all the web pages that interest you, and you can store them with just one click and build a virtual library – compared to filing them under a bookmark, this does have considerable advantages. First, because, unlike your browser bookmark, which can only be accessed from your computer, you can access your Delicious bookmark (your virtual library) wherever you are, from absolutely any computer that’s connected to the internet.
Then, Delicious is an intelligent website which automatically searches for the RSS feeds of your chosen websites. So, when you go to this website, you will instantly get all the most recent posts, downloaded for you by Delicious.
Finally, instead of filing your favourite website under just one category, like "cookery", you can link it to several keywords or tags: “laid-back cookery”, or “fun websites” for instance. This filing system makes searching easier: by typing in a keyword you can find all the sites and blogs under it. But you can also – and this is much more fun – find your favourite sites by using the tag clouds: you know, that little cloud of tags that shows up on your screen. It’s cute, it’s graphic, and all you do is click on a word in the cloud to access your library (see the tag clouds on the Mynetwords home page). Most of all, the Tag system makes sharing easier. Delicious is a social network, so the members of the web site can access your virtual library and even “borrow” your websites, in other words import them to their own libraries. The principle is simple: as a member of Delicious, you type in a keyword to find out the websites and blogs that other members have filed under that keyword. So, for instance, if you type in "net reputation", you’ll get a list of the websites and blogs dealing with net reputation that other members of Delicious have linked to that keyword. In the end, it isn’t Google doing the searching for you, but all the members of Delicious who select the sites and blogs corresponding to your keywords, which makes Delicious part of the growing trend towards folksonomy.