A recent Tweet from Dave Briggs questioning if people prefer online to offline tools got me thinking that there is one aspect of social neworking / online tools that I haven’t tinkered with yet; social bookmarking. Of the major bookmarking services I’ve decided to try out Delicious.com.

Delicious Social Bookmarking
Delicious Social Bookmarking

The signup was fairly quick and prompted me to install a toolbar to IE7. This didn’t take too long and added a few quick links, as well as a bookmarks sidebar which, to all intents and purposes, replaces the existing IE bookmarks toolbar. A feature that I wasn’t expecting but which has impressed me greatly is the fact that Delicious then imports your IE bookmarks. You can then log into your account and set which ones you want to share, manage the tags and remove any redundant ones. A further quick trip to WordPress and, via the RSS feed from my Delicious account, I have added my top 5 bookmarks to the sidebar of this site. Job done in about 20 mins with the most time spent weeding and sorting my imported bookmarks.

Of course the main benefit of this is that I can now bookmark pages of interest wherever I am without fear of losing them because they are on my work machine, or my parents machine. It also removes the need to throw emails all over the place to remind me of these links and, with most sites providing social bookmarking quick links (something I intend to integrate at work in the near future) I don’t even need to worry about installing specialist software to take advantage of this.

The next step for this is to test whether I can now import my bookmarks from another PC without overwriting those that I have just imported. Then I will be testing updating bookmarks using Flock (as part of my Flock testing; again, more on that in a later post).

In a world where we should be encouraged as much as possible to use the now available online tools to share data not only with others but with ourselves, I wonder what the next generation of browsers and desktops will look like. Microsoft are already looking at online, subscription based software delivery in the same vein as Google Docs and Zoho, while the MacBook Air is effectively a terminal machine encouraging the use of online software and data storage.

Cloud computing is a fascinating concept, formerly the stuff of science fiction now turned reality and promotion of cloud like services can only be a good thing…