Using Delicious has been a real mind opening experience for me. I used to be an avid AOL user, and more recently a Firefox or Internet Explorer user. Each software has its own internal bookmarking capability that I have utilized in the past. AOL’s bookmarking system was my most favorite as it was simple to use, and I was able to keep all my bookmarks in neat little files. However, there were a couple minor – rather major when considering all things – glitches in this particular system. Firstly, the actual bookmarks are saved on the computer that you are working with, in this case my PC. However, when I would sign onto my laptop when my PC was in use by another family member, I could not access most of my saved bookmarks on AOL. Strangely, the AOL software somehow connected to my account and saved some of my bookmarks and these would transfer over to my laptop. The reason why I say strangely is because AOL only transferred a small selection of my saved bookmarks. Also, originally my bookmarks were a total and complete mess in AOL. When I finally organized them into my own categories, I was able to retrieve them with relative ease. However, not only did only a select few bookmarks transfer over to my laptop from my PC, but they did so in a haphazard way – almost as if there was an incomplete electronic connection. Additionally, if I wanted to bookmark something I found while on my laptop, there was no simple way to ensure that it transferred over to my PC. How annoying! To top it all off, when my computer died suddenly, all of my hard work and wonderful bookmarks were entirely lost!  The second main issue with bookmarking on my AOL was that if I found a site that was both a museum and contained a page of fun activity ideas for kids, I had to choose where to put that site, or double the link into two different folders. Sometimes, I couldn’t find a bookmark I was looking for as I filed it somewhere that I couldn’t remember. The bookmarking dilemma did not get any better when I used different internet software. All this was a problem until social software sites like Delicious came along and saved the day.

After working with Delicious from the beginning of the semester, I discovered that all of my annoying issues with bookmarking had an end in sight. Here was a solution to all of my problems. I now have the ability to put all of my bookmarks in one place, and access it from any computer in the world. Additionally, I could tag my museum site with many tags like ‘museum’, ‘fun’, ‘kids’, ‘trip’, and ‘activities’; and find it easily depending on if I was hoping to take the kids to the museum, or plan a fun activity with them. Lastly, and most importantly, this information would not be erased by a faulty and old computer.

What I enjoyed even more about using Delicious in this exercise, was the discoveries of new websites and resources that I was able to make with just a few clicks of the button. Initially, it was difficult for me to determine if I was truly interested in a new site based only on its title. However, I realized that a comprehensive description was not necessary when there are tags that accomplish the very same thing in a more concise fashion. Additionally, I found that knowing the popularity of the site lends certain credibility to that particular bookmark. Still, I was not deterred by smaller numbers, knowing that I could easily find some rare gems among the rabble.