I have always liked the idea behind del.icio.us even though I wasn't a user - traveling bookmarks, and bookmarks you can share seem like a useful concept. Just like in the Otter Group tutorial (which I had to search online for since the Learning 2.0 link didn't direct to it properly), I thought more instructors should be using this tool to share interesting sites and/or articles that pertained to class and to build a collaborative collection of information that the whole class could contribute to. Now onto my experience with the new delicious. Saving links and creating a stack seemed easy enough, but I was interested in building a stack where multiple people could contribute, just like on the Otter tutorial (although they weren't called stacks back then). And now my fears about a service-in-transition start to surface: I searched on delicious and found Sorry, this functionality is not available at this time. I also found that even though I was clicking the "follow" button for stacks I found interesting, when I selected "following" from the menu, this message appeared:
you are not currently following anything.you will have more fun if you click on some follow buttons!
But I did! It took me a few tries to realize that there were two tabs on the "following" page, and the default tab was "profiles" and the tab behind that was "stacks." I clicked on stacks and there were the stacks that I was following - hooray! I found this design flaw annoying - I didn't even know that you could follow profiles (and what does delicious consider a profile?).
Time to check out some other functions that the Several Habits of Wildly Successful del.icio.us Users article mentions (which again I had to search for online because the Learning 2.0 link didn't work). Habits one and two, check. Habit three - the inbox - I decided to explore, except that it looked nothing like what the author was describing. I'm guessing it's another victim of the relaunch. That means that most of habits 4-6 are now obsolete as well (clicking on the links will bring up a lot of "page not found messages" or delicious pages with no content). The seventh habit of moving it around found me exploring online for ways to add a delicious button to my posts. I found several that consisted of editing the html code in the blogger template, but after two failed tries, I decided to forgo that option for the time being.
I did add the "save on delicious" bookmarklet to my browser toolbar, so that will make it easy to add to my links or my stacks. This now brings the number of ways that I'm compiling online information to four: Googlereader, Diigo, delicious, and my Firefox toolbar (I have bookmark folders right on the toolbar that makes it easy and fast to visit my favorite sites or links - I even keep a separate dropdown for current school project links that I'll clean out and start fresh each semester). While this probably isn't a lot of tools to true technophiles, it starts to become daunting to me - how do I remember which links I've, or others, have bookmarked where? All of these tools offer something over the others and can be helpful in different situations, but it seems like a lot to manage.
This lesson has brought into focus a few of the issues of rapidly-changing technology. First, tutorials quickly become outdated when the technology changes. Second, although technology seems to offer the great hope of free information and functionality for all, it is still a business, and some businesses will make decisions that might not be in the best interests of its users. Three, has no one learned that if you grow a big user-base and suddenly change either the interface or functionality, your users will hate you? Geesh, has facebook taught companies nothing?