How to use del.icio.us to foster collaboration

Posted by Shawn Callahan - November 20, 2006
Filed in News

del.icio.us is a free social book-marking web site which can help a group share useful links. Instead of one person relying on their own efforts to find relevant and useful information, with social book-marking you can distribute the effort among your group. Teams, communities and networks within and across organisations can make use of this simple and effective capability and enhance their collaboration practices.

This is how you do it.

Get everyone in your group to register as users of del.icio.us. If you want to check out my bookmarks, my username is ‘unorder’.

You’ll find the ‘register’ link at the top right corner of the del.icio.us home page.

Register

You will be asked to install a couple of buttons to your browser. These buttons are essential and hopefully you will be able to do this inside your firewall. The buttons make it easy for you to bookmark web pages as you find them.

Now you are logged in and ready to add some bookmarks. Your delicious home page will look something like this:

Del-Home-Page-300

To add a bookmark go to a web site like www.anecdote.com.au. Click on the ‘tag’ button that has been added to your browser. A window like this will pop up.

Tag300

Fill in the description, notes and tags. I recommend you follow a practice of noting whether you have read the article or web page so colleagues know who has just skimmed it and who has read it.

The ‘tag’ field provides much of the power behind social book-marking. delicious will start to recommend tags as you use the system based on tags you have used before, what your network is using and what’s popular throughout delicious. Rather than have pre-defined categories you can record the web page using any tags you like.

To get the most value as a group, however, I recommend at the outset you decide on some tags you will use to categorise the web sites you find. Don’t attempt to develop a full taxonomy. Let it evolve by listing a few common tags and then as new ones are needed let your group know as you create them.

Now add your colleagues using the ‘Your Network’ link at the top left corner of your del.icio.us page.

Network

Find out your colleagues’ delicious usernames and add each one. Make sure they add your name to their network too.

If you want to notify a particular member of your group of a web page you think they might like to read, use the special tag ‘for:username’. Links directed to you will turn up in your ‘links for you’ page.

Now you can keep track of what your group is book-marking on the web using del.icio.us.

About Shawn Callahan
Shawn is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:

One Response to “How to use del.icio.us to foster collaboration”

  1. Jim Says:

    I also use a tag called via:username, which I discovered through my network. Ilike the via tag because it shows you who you’re tracking the most and also if you’re blogging makes it easy for attribution.