A software package a day: Delicious Bookmarks

Continuing the inventory of Firefox plugins, Delicious Bookmarks is a great way to bring order to large bookmark collections.

The basic problem with bookmarks is that they are normally filed in a long list which quickly become untidy. Browsers allow for folders to be created and that can help, but the problem becomes one of deciding *which* folder a bookmark belongs to. For some items it is an easy choice, for others there may be two or more which are equally applicable. In these cases using folders is unsatisfactory because the item seems always to have been put in the folder you didn’t choose earlier.

Delicious Bookmarks allows for bookmarks to be tagged with multiple topics and allows for searches to be incremental. For example, I can start with the Programming tag and then narrow further using the tags that are associated with the Programming tag (say, SSL) until I find the bookmark I’m looking for. On another day I may start with SSL and then remember to filter further using Programming. The benefit of tags over folders is that both solutions work despite my context being different on different days.

This allows for huge numbers of bookmarks to be safely stored and retrieved in a useful manner rather than the older folder hunt. Some new browsers allow for filtering the bookmark list on search terms but I find that tags are more reliable. After all, too many bookmarks have useless titles because the default bookmark name is the title of the page. Some sites are very good about useful titles, many are not.

The larger your bookmark collection, the more useful Delicious Bookmarks or other tagging services become.