Curating great stuff with Delicious

For a while last year it looked like we might lose  Delicious, the King of online bookmarking and my favorite curation tool, as owner Yahoo did some strategic re-arranging.  Delicious was bought by the founders of Youtube and is now rocking on as good as ever.

So what is Delicious?

Think about how you arrange files on your computer:  perhaps that MS Word document is filed in a sub-sub directory of my documents like  C:\….\MyDocuments\business\correspondence\john_smith_ltr.doc.  Delicious allows you to organize Internet content in the same way.   If you find a blog post you want to save, you simply paste the link into delicious, assign one or more keywords and the article is saved to a specific URL – for example:  http://delicious.com/joespake/socialmedia/  will take you to the articles I think are interesting enough to save.  There are lots of possibilities for sharing with this simple format, and as a bonus, Delicious lets you generate an RSS feed for the sub-directory.  Wanna subscribe to my social media saves? just go to http://www.delicious.com/v2/rss/joespake/socialmedia.   Watch this screencast to see how easy Delicious is to use.

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RSS what?

RSS Symbol

Ever see this symbol before?  This post is not about RSS (Real Simple Syndication) or how it works.  It’s about the the computer literate folks I encounter every day who are not utilizing the power of RSS feeds to simplify their lives.

Unless owners of sites block their feeds, any website with dynamic (frequently updated content) has a feed.   The feed updates and syndicates changes, i.e., new blog posts, updates, news articles, for anyone to grab.

So when I am discussing a particular blog or site with someone who just surfs to it occasionally, I always ask if they “subscribe”.  I am often met with a blank look when I tell them they can automatically receive updates  every time their favorite blogger posts, or their favorite news outlet adds a new story.  You can subscribe to the feeds for sites you enjoy through a piece of aggregation software like Google Reader, and like magic, receive all the latest updates for everything you like on the web.

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