There are many tutorials and videos that do a very good job of explaining socialbookmarking, and sites like Delicious and similar sites like Diigo, so I'm going to stick to three ways I think socialbookmarking, and specifically Delicious, can be a valuable tool.
- Web-based Access- I've blogged about cloud computing and its benefits. Delicious is "cloudbookmarking." If you bookmark a site locally on a computer, you can't access it from other computers, and if the harddrive crashes your bookmarks are lost. A few years ago I had an excel spreadsheet with many links I would carry around on a flash drive-which I would often misplace. I needed an option that allowed better access to my bookmarks. Delicious allows access from any computer (or device) connected to the Internet.
- My Network- Socialbookmarking is allows me to access other user's bookmarks and gives them access to mine. It's not really "social" for me; it's more about having a "network" to connect with and benefit from their ideas. This all feeds the idea of having your own personal learning network. Want to pick the brain of colleagues or pioneers in a field? Delicious is a great way to do it. Check out Marlo's links regarding copyright. Look what Wes Fryar has on Internet safety. How about my links tagged "antivirus," which I have sent to several friends who needed help with their home computers. Your network can be a great tool for finding relevant information on the Internet and pulling or pushing links out to others.
- Exploration & Search Tool- Although it is unlikely to replace your favorite search engine, Delicious can deliver a look at what all users are tagging. I've occasionally found good links from the main page (which lists the "most popular bookmarks on Delicious" at the time) or by searching tags. It is important to note that although I've not seen sites I would consider inappropriate, the searches may yield results that could be blocked by web filters or just might be like searching for the needle in the haystack. Sometimes you have to have some time to search to find resources.