When the del.icio.us team recently added social networking features, I kind of groaned to myself. I didn't look at it very closely because I was busy and half feared that I'd discover a case of annoying social software and that would make me sad.

When a fellow Yahoo suggested that I put a del.icio.us network badge on my blog, I groaned to myself again. I don't "do" JavaScript badges on my site (for a number of reasons that I may write about later). If you look closely, you won't find any. (AdSense doesn't count!) But that forced me to look into this "network" though enough to put an "add me to your del.icio.us network" link under my linkblog in the sidebar.

I'm not sure if anyone even noticed it, but I've somehow managed to attract about 100 "fans" on del.icio.us. That's cool and all, but what I'm really digging is that people in my network are staring to tag things for:jzawodn. That means the links show up on my my "links for you" page.

This is turning out to be way more interesting than I first expected. Now when people come across something that's "interesting" but not essential for me to see, they can note that and go on with life. No need to IM or email me. Eventually I'll see it. Probably. Maybe.

This sort of lossy (or disposable?) link sharing is great for cutting down on inbox and IM clutter. And the unobtrusive implementation works in a way that doesn't ruin del.icio.us by trying to turn it into the next great social networking thingamagoo.

Posted by jzawodn at September 05, 2006 05:22 PM

Reader Comments
# Hagrin said:

Fantastic feature for unknowns like myself where coworkers who find certain information relevant to what I am working on (SharePoint 2007, etc.) can tag links for me. I used to lose such links after closing IM windows, deleting emails, poor organization, etc.

However, since you're a "Supa-Star!", hopefully people don't flood you with useless links. Seems highly unlikely since there are more productive ways of being destructive (yikes, my head is spinning).

on September 5, 2006 05:47 PM
# slackorama said:

Wait till you start getting garbage with it. My friend's have sent me stuff that I'm not interested at all and there's no way to delete links "for" you that I can see.

Kind of makes it hard to use at that point.

on September 5, 2006 06:59 PM
# Ian Holsman said:

Hi Jeremy.

I've used the network feature to add a 'digg' like area to my site.
the idea is people can tag things for:vcchat, and the links will appear on http://vc-chat.com/link/ for people to view/rate etc.

on September 5, 2006 10:59 PM
# Justin Mason said:

hey Jeremy --

I've hacked up something interesting built on networks of link-logs -- it's a link-blog summarising aggregator called SpicyLinks: http://taint.org/wk/SpicyLinks .

Obviously, this is ideal for the del.icio.us network -- it generates a summary of what links are "popular" in your social network.

I'm hoping the del.icio.us guys either (a) implement something similar as part of the d.i.o network, or (b) produce OPML export of the network, so that my version can be a bit more efficient -- right now, I have a CGI script that scrapes the network page into OPML.

Anyway, that's a pretty good use, I think.

on September 6, 2006 01:36 AM
# util21 Stefan said:

This feature about networking surely is interesting, yet it gets you a lot of garbage too. It would be really good if someone would improve all these tools so that the junk content would really be filtered, and thus to be a pleasure to read it. About reading it: it's enough to read the comments and others' blogs, now we have to read these too!

on September 6, 2006 02:45 AM
# /pd said:

Hey Jeremy why don't you play
tag with Randy !! :)-

the game has been going on since..hmmmmm like april/06 !!

on September 6, 2006 06:25 AM
# /pd said:

yikes.. my url dissappered..here it once again !!


on September 6, 2006 06:26 AM
# rich said:

It's a neat idea *except* that it's disposable. Being disposable, it's just another inbox that I'll forget to check, but people are putting things there because they would like me to see something, even if it's low-priority. Eventually: disappointment. Or at least people not using "for:" because it's unreliable in that I won't always

I wonder why "IM voicemail" hasn't happened. Instead of sending me an interactive message, send me a message that's just as lightweight as IM, but that I don't need to read until I'm in a "message-reading" mode. IM-to-email would accomplish this nicely, I guess.

on September 6, 2006 08:42 AM
# Joseph Hunkins said:

I see the huge promise of integrating del.icio.us tags with search, and I'm lazy about this type of application, but it seems to me the holy grail of tagging will not require any effort or will make it fun.

Google's photo tag game is a clever step in this direction. Without such approaches I think only a subset of tech people will do it and this will distort the search functionality.

on September 6, 2006 09:37 PM
# nate koechley said:

Thanks for pointing out the feature Jeremy, I hadn't played with it yet. I've been doing a similar thing for a long time now (creating personal link feeds for family and frineds -- attn:family, attn:peter), but this system seems easier (and does't necessarily supplant my manual techinique).


on September 8, 2006 01:01 AM
# SEM Basics said:

I've recently starting adding people who seem to have similar interests to my fans list. However, I'm not sure whether or not they actually want my suggestions. Sounds, though, like you don't mind it too much.

on September 14, 2006 01:12 PM
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