Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, January 5, 2004

A Delicious Way To Personalize The Web

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Social Bookmars Manager
= breakthrough tool
Online service

The increasing complexity of navigating the Internet is becoming one of the fundamental obstacles to its effective use. This is due to the nature of the Internet, principally, a disorganized collection of both sites and site documents whose exponential growth rate rapidly is outstripping any user's ability to master it.

There are two ways to deal with this complexity:

a) reorganize the structure of the Internet or

b) give each user the ability to organize an individual perspective of the Internet.

Although the former would produce more global benefit, the latter is both easier to accomplish and potentially more beneficial to any individual or group of users.

Our approach, therefore, is to create a navigation tool that copes with Internet complexity at the individual, rather than the organizational, level. This tool, allows the user to impose a hierarchical organization on Internet sites and documents of interest by creating categories under which to group sites.

Such categorization can be used not only by an individual user, but also can be shared among groups of users with similar interests.

Though it will be hard for some of you to believe this, the above quote is from an academic paper written at Michigan State University the 14th of September of 1994. Ten years ago and way before most of us even ever saw a Web site or a browser.

Though some efforts have been in this direction none has been able to date to realize the original dream of Michigan State University team most tools created in this direction have either suffered from the commercial entrapment of wanting to lock-in users into a paid service nobody felt a need for, or have been stifled in their potential growth by excessive control, censorship, and bureaucratic controls making its possible evolution very slow (see ODP Open Directory Project).

Until today.

Personalized Adaptive Knowledge Discovery, Mapping And Archival System: It's Delicious
= breakthrough service
Online service (any browser)

Fast forward to 2004: Enters Delicious a revolutionary social bookmarks manager.


Personalizing net access.

Personalized access has the following aspects that make it a more likely candidate for further exploration.

Personalized access is done on an individual level. The other techniques (standards and large-scale net indexing) require cooperation with other groups or other net sites. While those approaches might result in broader impact, they require cooperation at a level that could easily make the work go more slowly.

Because personalized access does not require group cooperation, it can be idiosyncratic.

Thus users across the net can set up their own personal "view'' of the net, navigating it and using its resources.

This seems more in tune with the character of the net, which is not an organized entity but a loosely connected set of sites each participating in the net while making their own choices as to what to present, how to present it, etc.

The results of personal access modification affect no one but the person doing the changes and therefore would tend to be more readily accepted.

Delicious could also be defined to be both a personal and a public knowledge mapping, discovery and archival system.

Delicious is wonderful in its simplicity and ease of use as much as it is impressive in its knowledge discovering and self-archival ability.

Delicious strengths are transformed and amplified every moment by the untiring the network of contributors who keep adding, reviewing, filtering, and personalizing their own "view" of relevant knowledge resources.

And as rapidly learning and collaborating ants you can admire how fast this growing web of contributors learns and evolves without any top-down coordination.

Through delicious you can actually see patterns evolve over time as information miners learn rapidly how to select, reference, categorize and post information resources of their own interest.

I have now been spending a few weeks in using delicious and while at the beginning I was almost unable to appreciate its value or mission, I have now learned not only to appreciate it, but also to nurture it and to use it to create and distribute even more rapidly valuable information resources to others.

Delicious acts on the very principles of socio-biology and ant-like behaviour that are so dear to some innovative thinkers of our time.

Delicious allows individual "netminers" and information seekers explore openly and wildly the vast available online resources. Each one of them pointing and reporting whatever she finds to be most interesting and valuable.

Thanks to individual netminers' discoveries other individuals can rapidly discover the same resources, further annotate them and make them part of their own "preferred" view.

The greater the number of information seekers selecting a certain bit of information the greater the relevance and the darker the visual shading applied to the information item inside the function-driven, essential, delicious interface.

Like pheromones trails, interest, relevance and information value are automatically tracked and made visible by delicious, making knowledge discovery and serendipitous information search activities highly enjoyable and effective.

Delicious goes much beyond the ability to provide a public knowledge mapping and discovery tool as it extends itself to provide the means to recycle and refuel each and every personal "viewpoint" into a new public resource that can be further shared, syndicated and re-used.

In other words, what delicious is capable of delivering is not only a set of personalized views on your "bookmarks" (which can be as extensive as the number of "tags" or "categories" that you create), but which extends to auto-generating a standard RSS newsfeed and a Windows Active Channel (CDF) (viewable inside Internet Explorer bookmarks) for each and everyone of them!

In practical terms delicious allows me to bookmark on the fly any content, Web site, article or resource I find online. No matter on which browser or OS I like to work I can use delicious by installing a simple bookmarklet in my preferred browser. Once installed, bookmarking a resource is just one-click away.

When clicked, delicious automatically records URL and title of the resource while prompting me for a short description and for any number of tags I may want to attach to this information item. Just like similar boomarklets from popular blogging systems.

As you keep bookmarking relevant sources online and tagging them with appropriate keywords you automatically generate a multiple set of delicious views of your online resources which can also be viewed/filtered instantaneously through the tags (categories) you have attached to each one.

Each filtered view is also an RSS channel. Free. Available for you to use.

The easiest thing you can think of doing is then to start bookmarking relevant resources in selected areas of interest and then to syndicate the content from your delicious RSS feed to your preferred site.

You explore, discover, review, filter and share with others while following your own personal interests and goals.

Is there a better way to learn while enriching everyone else?

Very strongly recommended.

Delicious is the brainchild of Joshua Schachter. A truly brilliant service from the same guy who brought you MemePool
and also GeoURL.


A Tool for Individualizing the Web
K.A. Oostendorp, W.F. Punch, and R.W. Wiggins
Intelligent Systems Lab, Michigan State University
E. Lansing
Computer Center, Michigan State University
E. Lansing

September 14, 1994

Readers' Comments    
2004-01-22 02:23:01

John Howard Oxley

Flash backward 60 years to 1945, and a seminal article by Vannevar Bush: "As We May Think" -- this sounds exactly like a virtual Memex, and if it can work the same way, has the power to be a major transformative tool if it gains critical mass.

"The future of the past is in the present."

2004-01-07 06:14:16

aaron mathew wall

I feel like I am somewhat out of the loop, but am going to be getting inside it soon...time to start tagging...

I really like the articles and topics you cover.

posted by Robin Good on Monday, January 5 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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