The tools that I have been testing out are a social bookmarking site called Delicious and an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader called Bloglines.

Delicious bookmarks is a website that provides a social bookmarking service that allows the user to save and share bookmarks with other people. What sets Delicious apart from

Image representing delicious as depicted in Cr...
Image by via CrunchBase

browser bookmarks is that it allows the user to organize and locate their bookmarks easier. It does this by allowing the user to assign tags or phrases to each bookmark, which the user then can use to search for the bookmark. Delicious presents a new way of organizing bookmarks but the question is, does Delicious help get things done?

In theory yes, delicious could very well help get things done. I only say in theory because the way I used the tool was very much for entertainment purposes. But if one was to use the tool for lets say to compile their research, then this tool could be efficient. The way that Delicious increases efficiency is by reducing clutter. All the user has to do is type in the tags that they assigned for a bookmark they are looking for and they have that bookmark ready.

Comparing this to browser bookmark systems such as firefox (though firefox 3 has added the tagging features), I find that delicious is much better. This is because I find myself taking more time than I want scrolling through my hundreds of bookmarks to get to the one that I want. Though one can argue that you can organize bookmarks better with folders, I find that assigning two or three words to a bookmark when I add it is much quicker than filing my bookmarks.

Also another thing that sets Delicious apart from just normal browser bookmarking is its social aspect. The things the user bookmarks can be available for other users to look at. This again shows the effectiveness of tags as a person can use delicious as a sort of search engine to find articles on certain topics. The great thing is that the user can turn off the public viewing for any bookmarks they choose, which allows them the choice of privacy.

However, Delicious is far from perfect as its issues mostly have to do with its reliability. As delicious is an web service that runs off a website, meaning that if this website is down that you cannot use this tool. There could also be the possibility of data loss, which means the user could lose hundreds of their bookmarks without having it backed up. The social aspect also brings into question its reliability. Because if the user was using this tool to do research, there is no guarantee that other people have bookmarks regarding this topic or if the other users have tagged logically.

Bloglines is another web tool I used that i found quite effective when getting things done. Bloglines is an RSS reader that receives rss feeds. RSS feeds is like a signal that certain websites send out when ever they are updated with new information, the RSS readers can then read this feed and show the user the new updated content. This tool is for people who have alot of websites that they check frequently for either news or business purposes. It saves time as it eliminates the need to search for information but rather brings the information to the user in an orderly way. This can be an effecitive research tool as you can subscribe to rss feed of google news search on a topic, the rss feeder will then bring the user the most recent articles on that topic. I personally found that this could be a very quick way to get information from my favorite sites. Though i did develop a craving for checking my bloglines to see if any information was updated, so in a way it hindered my work preventing me from getting things done.

In conclusion, I believe that both tools can allow users to get things done. Though they both can be used for entertainment purposes which present and oppurtunity for the weak-willed to procrastinate. But overall these are two tools that can make things easier for the user, allowing them to reach a relaxed, more productive state.

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