Sara, Wrangler of Links

Submitted by Sara on Tue, 2007-02-06 20:55. 

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Greetings fellow DIY Planner junkies! Many of you have encountered me in the hallowed halls of our forums. You may even have noted my abnormal love of links. Doug and Innowen sure noticed and have graciously crowned me “Link Wrangler” (or “Link Liaison, if I may be so bold) for DIYPlanner.com. This “position” has been created to organize relevant links for everyone’s use. I’m sure you are aware of how tedious it can be to find “that one site” in a pinch. Hopefully, I will be able to ease some of that frustration.

It is with great pleasure that I present my first “SPOTLINK,” or featured website.

Mmmm…Mmmm…Del.icio.us

Del.icio.us is described as “social bookmarking.” It employs tagging which Innowen has covered in her articles the past two weeks here. (The site defines a tag as “simply a word you use to describe a bookmark.”) You may question your need of an on-line bookmarking tool, after all every browser has a way of adding a bookmark or favorite. Del.icio.us is unique and well worth your time to explore and I highly recommend you check it out.

The first and most obvious benefit of using Del.icio.us is Internet access to all your bookmarks. The reality is many of us utilize more than one computer during our normal routine. You no longer have to struggle to recall that uber website’s URL when away from your saved bookmarks. Del.icio.us allows you to have access to ALL your links from any computer. Perhaps you only use one computer and fail to see the benefit so far. Imagine the worst case catastrophe: your computer crashes! All of your cherished URLs are gone. This can get extremely frustrating. Time is now wasted RE-bookmarking sites. With Del.icio.us, you don’t have to worry about this anymore. Any tool that can alleviate future headaches gets kudos from me.

Simply having an on-line record of all your bookmarks may not be enough to entice you to visit or sign up for this site. Much to my delight, Del.icio.us has features that go well beyond just keeping your lucky links. Every member can add descriptions, notes, and tags to their chosen URLs. These tags create a new way to search for relevant websites and remind you about why you saved the link in the first place. I find “traditional” search engines to be plagued with irrelevant and unrelated sites. It takes time to sort through all these to find the useful sites we should be spending our time perusing. Once users finish filling out the information and save the link, other users visiting Del.icio.us can then search the plethora of URLs for a tag of their choice.

Not convinced to become a member yet? Inhabiting your browser’s “Bookmarks” or “Favorites,” is a cumbersome and unruly list of websites that are seemingly unrelated to the next in line. Now imagine giving them one word tags (ie. GTD, productivity, organization, art, gardening, etc). Instantly your URLs have been categorized and defined, each proudly wearing its own description like a badge of honor. Browsers only allow you to group URLs into folders. This is very restrictive and hardly allows for overlaps. Del.icio.us provides us with a more natural solution~ tags. Your personal bookmarks, boasting the notes and tags that you assign, can be grouped in categories with the option “Bundle Tags.” Simply indicate which tags are included in that bundle. Ta Da! Instant solution to the overlap quandary. URLs can be members of more than one bundle in one neat and organized system. Navigating your bookmarks is now easier, more efficient, and personalized.

Del.icio.us also has an attractive community aspect. When starting out, creating tags may be a daunting task. Luckily, each time you submit a bookmark, lists of “popular” and “recommended” tags are provided. Accessing other members’ lists gives you a feel of what is possible for your own. The “Network” feature is also very helpful. You can build up a network of connections to other members of Del.icio.us, granting you full access to their saved URLs. This provides you with an effortless way of sharing your links with other Del.icio.us users and vice versa. Which brings me to another point I need to make.

I need your help buckaroos. As a member of the DIY Planner community for just over 5 weeks, I have been astounded by the amount of care and fellowship that exists. We are united in a love of paper and productivity. We strive to help ourselves and others achieve a level of peace in our daily routines. I’ve seen a lot of links appear on this site. Unfortunately, they lack the organization that befits our wonderful community. That’s why we (Doug, Innowen, and I) have come up with my wrangling-role and a way to corral our links together.

We would like to start using Del.icio.us to pool everyone’s links regarding productivity, journal writing, creativity, time management, etc. There is so much out there and we feel it is important that the WHOLE community get involved. Therefore, we ask that if you want to share your links with us, for possible posting in our Links area, you create your own Del.icio.us account. Then simply start tagging the appropriate links with the term “diyplanner.” This way I can monitor it via this PAGE and can use these URLs to populate our collection of links. Eventually these links will go into a new area just for your perusal.

This way, you can see all the links I have wrangled and maybe share a few new ones with me as well. I hope to see many familiar faces (or ‘handles’) over in Del.icio.us land.

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