I’ll confess right now: I never got del.icio.us. It’s caused quite a furor, but I never could quite get it. I understood why you might want to have bookmarks be web-based: you would want to access them anywhere and you may not have your laptop handy. I understood why it’s neat to see other people’s bookmarks: you might find new things that you wouldn’t otherwise.
Each of those reasons seems like a perfect reason to have a wiki or keep and read blogs. Then it hit me. When I finally got it, I got it hard.
It’s the tags. Tags are useful pieces of metadata that describe the particular URL being stored. They’re pretty much categories and I love categories. I use a large number of them for my three blogs (though there’s no public way to access them—sorry that’ll have to come later) and I find them very useful to quickly find information. iPhoto has a similar function called keywords that let you assign multiple categories to a picture. I liked them, but they were a pain to add new ones and the interface wasn’t (still isn’t) up to Apple standards.
Then I discovered a piece of freeware called Keyword Assistant. Suddenly, I could spontaneously create new keywords at will and apply multiple keywords to a picture or pictures effortlessly. Of my 4,272 pictures, only 891 lack a keyword. I still have to go back and find pictures that have old keywords from pre-Keyword Assistant days, but that’s a small subset given how long it used to take to enter them.
I have found that I am now keyword-happy with my pictures. I create keywords for each of the people in the shot, keywords for the location at which it was taken, keywords for actions that are occurring in the shot, and keywords for overarching events in which the shots took place. I probably have over a hundred keywords now and it makes creating smart albums trivial. It also makes finding specific photos a piece of cake.
So in for me, del.icio.us equals Keyword Assistant. And it’s got FireFox integration to boot.