fundraising, Getting Started, listening, Mobile Fundraising, search engine optimization, Twitter, website innovation

Using Delicious for Research, Sharing, and Website Dynamism

16 Comments 10 August 2009

image courtesy of j_a_n

image courtesy of j_a_n

How can organizations best utilize the social bookmarking site Delicious? Though not the largest of the social bookmarking sites (it is 7th of the top 20), it is one of the easiest sites to mine for information. It is deliciously simple (pun intended!) to use, and there are over 180 tools, add-ons, and related resources to help you to take advantage of this platform. I can think of three broad ways organizations can use Delicious: for public/private information-gathering, intra company collaboration, and sharing news with stakeholders. I’m sure there are more! How do you use Delicious?

Information Gathering (public or private)

Use Delicious to gather relevant information: stay on top of the latest industry developments, competitor news, research new possibilities, and monitor tags of your own organization’s name. Use Delicious to search for these items or articles of interest to your organization. Remember, you can determine whether or not each bookmark will be seen publicly, and you decide if you want others to know what you are researching!

1. Follow Users:

Find and follow fellow industry professionals that upload bookmarks.  Select the “add a user to network” option in order to collect all of your favorite users’ bookmarks in one place.  Here is a screen shot of how to add a user to your network:

delicious-user-network1

2. Follow Tags:

You can  “subscribe” to specific tags of interest in Delicious. This action sends all your subscriptions directly to your Delicious home page. Alternatively, you can also create an RSS (really simple syndication) feed to automatically update whenever new articles with the subscribed tag are bookmarked. You can also create an RSS feed of any user’s bookmarks.

As an example, I searched Delicious for all tagged information about the electric car, and subscribe to the RSS feed for all future articles tagged “electric car.”

rss-feed-electric-car-delicous1

Intra company Collaboration

Why not use Delicious for sharing information within the company? Create a custom organizational intranet for sharing bookmarks! No copying and sending the URLs by email, no re-posting to your company’s intranet. When everyone in the company is encouraged to share articles, the volume of intra company news sharing increases.

Two options for intra company news sharing:

1. Encourage employees to bookmark and share tags using one company password and user ID, but mark each bookmark as the “do not share!” All employees can log in to see the newest bookmarks, or subscribe to the company’s bookmarks.  Here is a sample screen shot:

private-delicous1

2. Create individual employee accounts, and employees tag bookmarks with a set of agreed-upon tag names. To share the information, employees in the company subscribe to each other’s networks, bookmarks, and specifically-named identifying tags (e.g. conversationprogram221).

Sharing News with Stakeholders

Create a news feed on the website of bookmarked news about your organization. This displays a vibrant, crowdsourced “News” section of the website, or a scrolling news widget out of your Delicious bookmarks.  Here are two variations on this idea:

1. Whenever your organization is mentioned in the news, bookmark it to Delicious and tag it with your company’s name. Create an RSS feed for all Delicious tags with your company’s name. Place the RSS feed on the front page of the website or the sidebar of your blog. You could put the RSS feed in the “News” section of your website, but that’s not as fun!

2. Create a public RSS feed to your website of all tags relevant to stakeholders. For example, if your organization’s mission is advocacy for the electric car,  create RSS feeds for the tags “electric car,” “alternative energy automobile,” “automobile efficiency,” and other related tags.

Of course, don’t forget that bookmarks are public by default. This means that you are already sharing information with your stakeholders. Ask them to subscribe to your bookmarks! Tell them that this is the way your organization offers news to other Delicious users. And…don’t forget to mention your Delicious account on the website!

How does your organization use Delicious? Please share your stories with us in the comments section below!

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  • Thanks. Have been tagging with Delicious for about five months but haven’t tried to use it as a research tool.

    This will help. Appreciate your work.

    Steve

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Glad you found the post useful Steve – look forward to hearing about your research successes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Thanks. Have been tagging with Delicious for about five months but haven’t tried to use it as a research tool.

    This will help. Appreciate your work.

    Steve

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Glad you found the post useful Steve – look forward to hearing about your research successes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    [Reply]

  • Hi Debra,

    We’ve chatted about this in the NTEN discussion forum on LinkedIn, but I thought I’d comment here publicly as well for the benefit of your readers (http://delicious.com/volunteerabroad).

    At Cross-Cultural Solutions, we’re using Delicious to aggregate our org’s mentions across the Web. We use the bookmarks for (1) internal sharing and (2) stakeholder sharing.

    On the internal side, thanks to Delicious’ brand-new email-at-the-time-of-bookmarking feature, we use Delicious to share information that’s particularly relevant to a department or individual staff members, for which we’ve received positive feedback. Encouraging or requiring internal adoption of Delicious throughout the organization was too big of a hurdle, as well as tag subscription by RSS feeds, so we’re pretty happy with the email option which requires no effort on the part of the receiving staff member.

    On the external side, we’re using feeds of particular tags (“mentions+bestof”) to dynamically power our revamped News page, and have plans to further experiment with integrating bookmark content in other areas of our website by utilizing deep tag links. We also import tag feeds to our LinkedIn group’s News forum and our community site.

    As you said, using Delicious like this is a really great way to not only aggregate relevant content across the Web for archival purposes, but to also add dynamic, targeted to your org’s Web presences.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Matt- I would love to do a follow-up piece with specific examples of how nonprofit organizations are using Delicious, and include Cross-Cultural Soclutions. I remember from our discussion on LInkedin that you use it for stakeholder sharing, but I wasn’t aware of how you use it for internal sharing. Thanks for pointing out the email-from-at-time-of-bookmarking option for internal sharing. This is a great solution to the internal adoption issue, and I’m so glad you pointed out both the potential adoption issue and a possible solution that addresses this issue specifically. Great contribution to this post, thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Hi Debra,

    We’ve chatted about this in the NTEN discussion forum on LinkedIn, but I thought I’d comment here publicly as well for the benefit of your readers (http://delicious.com/volunteerabroad).

    At Cross-Cultural Solutions, we’re using Delicious to aggregate our org’s mentions across the Web. We use the bookmarks for (1) internal sharing and (2) stakeholder sharing.

    On the internal side, thanks to Delicious’ brand-new email-at-the-time-of-bookmarking feature, we use Delicious to share information that’s particularly relevant to a department or individual staff members, for which we’ve received positive feedback. Encouraging or requiring internal adoption of Delicious throughout the organization was too big of a hurdle, as well as tag subscription by RSS feeds, so we’re pretty happy with the email option which requires no effort on the part of the receiving staff member.

    On the external side, we’re using feeds of particular tags (“mentions+bestof”) to dynamically power our revamped News page, and have plans to further experiment with integrating bookmark content in other areas of our website by utilizing deep tag links. We also import tag feeds to our LinkedIn group’s News forum and our community site.

    As you said, using Delicious like this is a really great way to not only aggregate relevant content across the Web for archival purposes, but to also add dynamic, targeted to your org’s Web presences.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Matt- I would love to do a follow-up piece with specific examples of how nonprofit organizations are using Delicious, and include Cross-Cultural Soclutions. I remember from our discussion on LInkedin that you use it for stakeholder sharing, but I wasn’t aware of how you use it for internal sharing. Thanks for pointing out the email-from-at-time-of-bookmarking option for internal sharing. This is a great solution to the internal adoption issue, and I’m so glad you pointed out both the potential adoption issue and a possible solution that addresses this issue specifically. Great contribution to this post, thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Debra, thanks for this — funnily enough I was going to do write something similar in anticipation of a lounge session we are doing on Sunday afternoon at ASAE09 on social bookmarking, but instead I will save time and refer people here! 🙂

    An additional thought on using Delicious to share information with internal or external folks — I actually did just this at a previous job, and found that the majority of people who were not RSS savvy preferred to subscribe via an email-to-RSS service such as http://www.feedblitz.com/ — then it just shows up in their inbox.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Jay- Good point about the fact that many people prefer to receive information via email. Great tip to use a service such as feedblitz. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this!

    [Reply]

  • Debra, thanks for this — funnily enough I was going to do write something similar in anticipation of a lounge session we are doing on Sunday afternoon at ASAE09 on social bookmarking, but instead I will save time and refer people here! 🙂

    An additional thought on using Delicious to share information with internal or external folks — I actually did just this at a previous job, and found that the majority of people who were not RSS savvy preferred to subscribe via an email-to-RSS service such as http://www.feedblitz.com/ — then it just shows up in their inbox.

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Jay- Good point about the fact that many people prefer to receive information via email. Great tip to use a service such as feedblitz. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this!

    [Reply]

  • sarina

    Hi,
    I am a private professional, without a company association at the moment. what, if any, would be the advantages of using Delicious as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, for someone in my position? As it is, I hardly have time to do justice to these other social networking media!!

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Sarina- Delicious very different than an online social network such as Facebook and Linkedin. Twitter, though it acts like a social network is actually a “microblogging” platform. Delicious is it’s own type of platform called social bookmarking, and is used less for building community than for research, bookmarking (actually saving those sites you like to an online bookmarking site) and passive sharing (anyone can look at your public bookmarks or add you to a network but it’s not a platform for real two-way conversation). As a private professional, I think that Delicious would be a great tool for research (looking up tags about a certain subject, company or person that you want to know more about) and for keeping an online checklist of those URLs with information that you want to have available at your fingertips at all times. I often use Delicious as the latter – when I see an article I will want to reference at some later point, I bookmark and tag it and know that I can come back to it at any later point. Online social bookmarking frees you up from the computer so that you can access your bookmarks when meeting with a colleague, client or when you are away from your computer.

    I hope that this helps you understand why Delicious has a different use than the Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. It all comes down to what you want to do with any type of medium. If I haven’t answered your question, let me know and Iwill try to respond differently. I also hope that others reading these comments can contribute their thoughts as well!

    [Reply]

  • sarina

    Hi,
    I am a private professional, without a company association at the moment. what, if any, would be the advantages of using Delicious as opposed to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, for someone in my position? As it is, I hardly have time to do justice to these other social networking media!!

    [Reply]

    Debra Askanase Reply:

    Sarina- Delicious very different than an online social network such as Facebook and Linkedin. Twitter, though it acts like a social network is actually a “microblogging” platform. Delicious is it’s own type of platform called social bookmarking, and is used less for building community than for research, bookmarking (actually saving those sites you like to an online bookmarking site) and passive sharing (anyone can look at your public bookmarks or add you to a network but it’s not a platform for real two-way conversation). As a private professional, I think that Delicious would be a great tool for research (looking up tags about a certain subject, company or person that you want to know more about) and for keeping an online checklist of those URLs with information that you want to have available at your fingertips at all times. I often use Delicious as the latter – when I see an article I will want to reference at some later point, I bookmark and tag it and know that I can come back to it at any later point. Online social bookmarking frees you up from the computer so that you can access your bookmarks when meeting with a colleague, client or when you are away from your computer.

    I hope that this helps you understand why Delicious has a different use than the Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. It all comes down to what you want to do with any type of medium. If I haven’t answered your question, let me know and Iwill try to respond differently. I also hope that others reading these comments can contribute their thoughts as well!

    [Reply]

About

Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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