Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Bypassing the new Delicious site

Posted on 12 August 2008 23 comments

Article illustration for Bypassing the new Delicious site

So del.icio.us is now just delicious.com, eh? And a less-than-spectacular redesign, too?

This has reminded me to post something about how I use the Delicious service rather than its website. I’ve never been one for social bookmarking. Not that I’m a miserable old git who likes to keep all my goodies to myself (well, just a tad), but I’ve always been put off by the sites that offer the service. I like my bookmarks in my browser menu, goddamit, and that’s where I’ll have them!

Not only that; personally I find the Delicious site a pretty uninspiring one to use. It’s been improved with the redesign, but it’s still not something I’d visit out of choice, and going to a site simply to get to another site seems like a silly thing to do when we’re just dealing with bookmarks.

So… a revelation came to me a few months ago when I discovered Delicious Safari, a lovely little plugin that makes my bookmarks accessible from one simple menu – all within the browser. This was almost discovered by accident, though, as what I actually wanted to do was find a way of syncronising bookmarks between my home MacBook Pro and my (then) work MacBook Pro… absolutely nothing to do with being ‘social’ at all!

Article illustration for Bypassing the new Delicious site

Of course, this isn’t specific to Safari. I know similar things exist for Firefox (such as the official add-on) and IE (but why on earth are you using IE, you dirty little thing?).

I no longer have a ‘work’ MBP, but I’m using Delicious Safari to sync my bookmarks across my MBP and my newly-purchased Mac Mini. In fact it was one of the first things I installed on the new machine.

Hey, that reminds me: would you be interested in a post about what apps I’d recommend as a ‘bare minimum’ on a virgin OSX installation?


  1. Ryan Imel

    Ryan Imel

    12 August 2008 @ 01:31AM #

    I second your sentiments re: keeping your stuff to yourself. I never did use Delicious, but tried Ma.gnolia for a bit. It worked, but was never as much fun as I had hoped.

    I tend to bookmark into two categories. First is the group of links I visit regularly: LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, my local WordPress install, Highrise, etc. And the rest are those that I’d like to remember, but definitely don’t need at hand. The first group go into my browser bar, the rest go…somewhere else.

    I hadn’t really decided where to put them, though I had tried Ma.gnolia out. Then I discovered Evernote, and found it to be the perfect place. It’s great for dumping info for later retrieval (which is my second group) and syncs across computers, web, and my iPhone. Perfect. Plus I get to use it for all sorts of other stuff (images, convos, emails, etc.).

    I’m always interested in hearing what others install and use on their Macs. Something about seeing another person’s dock… well, that’s for another comment. I’ve gone on long enough.

  2. mocha


    12 August 2008 @ 01:31AM #

    A list of what you suggest for a virgin mac would be, “Very Interesting”. Please do.

  3. Ben


    12 August 2008 @ 01:55AM #

    I assume you were looking for a solution only for Safari, but Foxmarks for Firefox is a great little tool for synchronizing bookmarks and backing them up remotely at the same time. It doesn’t get in the way and it just works.

    For as long as delicious 2.0 took to go public, it really isn’t much of an improvement.

  4. Grant


    12 August 2008 @ 02:03AM #

    I think it’s interesting to see how people use services like Delicious. I’ve used it for a long time, but never really as a bookmarking services. It’s like an archive for me. A place to put things that I think are really interesting and don’t want to forget about. Or a place to store material I want to read/watch later, when I’ve got more time…

    “would you be interested in a post about what apps I’d recommend as a ‘bare minimum’ on a virgin OSX installation?”

    Yes please. Always fun to know what other people consider essential.

  5. Christoph


    12 August 2008 @ 03:22AM #

    I don’t believe in the power of social bookmarking, because everybody has different understanding of what is important or interesting.
    Bookmarks are for me and only for me, who cares?

    And Yes, I’m interested in your prefered apps for a virgin app


  6. kim


    12 August 2008 @ 03:33AM #

    I use delicious as well but more for personal bookmarking. It’s the one I found so far to help sync bookmarks amongst the various computers I use. I use the firefox plugin for delicious so therefore have I rarely visitied the site. My gripe is organizing it (and I’ve decided to start looking at alternatives) and don’t really care for tagging. I will have to check out evernote though.

  7. anon


    12 August 2008 @ 03:49AM #

    I would also be very interested in what you consider the bare essentials for Mac operation.

  8. Jonathan Snook

    Jonathan Snook

    12 August 2008 @ 05:27AM #

    “Bookmarks are for me and only for me, who cares?” and “And Yes, I’m interested in your prefered apps for a virgin app” are in some ways diametrically opposite concepts. The reason people care about what other people are bookmarking is because people are interested to find quality content. By bookmarking something, you’ve clearer given it a level of importance higher than having just browsed randomly from page to page. That’s why a list of virgin apps is interesting. There’s that social aspect of linking.

    I use delicious in multiple ways. I didn’t start getting into it heavily until I wanted to link delicious with my web site. I now have a special tag “forsite” that I use to tag something to appear in the sidebar. As a result of doing that, though, I find myself quick linking stuff that wasn’t important enough to mention (or outside the realm of what I normally talk about) but that I still wanted to keep track of. I used to use normal browser bookmarks but I rarely use them. And new browser installs was making it more of a pain to maintain. Offloading it to Delicious has made things infinitely easier. I don’t use the bookmark feature in my browser at all. If I need something, I just go to delicious. Simple as that.

  9. Jeremy Summers

    Jeremy Summers

    12 August 2008 @ 05:43AM #

    The del.icio.us FF extension makes bookmarks a new thing. Just start searching for what you are looking for and often find not only it but other realted things you forgot you had.

    Del.icio.us plug in also lets you keep things private and have them in your menu.

    Although if you are stuck liking safari what can I say. Good luck.

  10. kristarella


    12 August 2008 @ 11:05AM #

    I’m kind of like Grant in the way that I use Delicious. It’s not very often that I need to to go back to a site, but occassionally I do. It’s a nice way to archive. I’m not heavily into social bookmarking at all, but I do keep a list of my bookmarks in my blog’s sidebar. A couple of people have siad they find the links useful, so I’m happy.

    I usually find that Mac OS X app lists are pretty much the same as my own thoughts, so yes. I’d be interested to see your list in case it’s any different.

  11. Christoph


    12 August 2008 @ 01:10PM #

    I’m interested in apps Elliot prefers for his virgin mac.
    That doesn’t mean I want to know what other people prefer for their macs.
    What I wanted to say is: there are too many opinions and too many bookmarks for “good apps” or “best apps” and that’s why I’m not interested in bookmarks of other people.
    If you can use social bookmarks, it’s ok for you, but for me they failed.

  12. Graeme


    12 August 2008 @ 01:40PM #

    I’ve never used bookmarking sites to be honest, I don’t know why but they just don’t appeal. Like you said, why go to a site just to go through to another one. Isn’t that what Google is for?! And like a lot of things, it can come down to personal preference with bookmakrs; what is good for own could be awful for another.

    And as someone who is seriously considering buying my first macbook, applications would be nice!

  13. kristarella


    12 August 2008 @ 01:50PM #

    Have you ever tried http://osx.iusethis.com/ ? I’ve never thought of it as a social bookmarking site. I don’t think it is really. It might not be as useful for bread-and-butter applications, but when you’re looking for something specific it’s top notch.

  14. Elliot Jay Stocks

    Elliot Jay Stocks

    12 August 2008 @ 02:32PM #

    Cheers for the comments, guys. I’ll be posting about recommended apps for a virgin installation of OSX, then. By the way, I’ve updated this post to now feature a screenshot of the plugin in action, so scroll up.

    @ Ryan Imel: I want to love Evernote, but it won’t upload any photo notes from my iPhone, and so at the moment it’s pretty limiting. I’m not sure if the error is something specific to my particular iPhone, and I certainly don’t want to point the finger at Evernote’s servers, but right now it’s not doing the very thing I downloaded it for. Anyone else had this problem?

    @ Jonathan Snook: I completely agree with you. Although in this very post I’ve admitted that the reason I use Delicious is not really a social one, I do also use it because I plan on incorporating the links into my site. In fact, I’ve been planning that for ages – I really need to get on with it!

    @ Jeremy Summers: RE: “Del.icio.us plug in also lets you keep things private and have them in your menu.” So does the Safari plugin. It’s definitely an important feature to have.

  15. maikel


    12 August 2008 @ 02:43PM #

    Funny i came across this post, i was looking for a similar thing because at the moment i’ve got an imac in front of me for testing purposes. Thinking really hard of switching but i’m an old windows user …. *yeah i know.
    And that brings me to your last question, i would really love to see a post about that! I’m searching for things and configuring lots of things, but such a post would make my exploration process a little easier i think!
    Many thanks upfront!

  16. Jonathan Snook

    Jonathan Snook

    12 August 2008 @ 05:57PM #

    Christoph: not that I’m trying to push delicious on you but I did want to point out that while you aren’t looking for the consensus of the masses, delicious does allow you to add people into your network and only follow the bookmarks of those people. Again, you get the social aspect but in a much more focused area. (This isn’t something I do but it is possible.)

  17. Sulcalibur


    13 August 2008 @ 12:09AM #

    I adore Delicious. I also really like the redesign too. I use Delicious as a means of syncing bookmarks between folders, sharing, backing up and also tagging (which is HUGELY important to me).

    I understand your point about visiting a site to get to another site, but I never go to the actual site to view my bookmarks. I just use the extension which works better than the default browser bookmark way (in my opinion).

    For people like myself. Viewing someone like Paul Boag’s shared bookmarks is brilliant. He obvious doesn’t share everything, but chooses which ones or good for the community.

    Also I’m about to deviate away from Windows and get a Macbook, so year software tips would be awesome. Cheers mate, take care.


  18. Josh Stodola

    Josh Stodola

    13 August 2008 @ 12:48AM #

    why on earth are you using IE, you dirty little thing?

    Hmmmm, probably because IE7 loads alot faster than any other browser on Windows. Next in line is Opera. Safari is nothing but a joke!

  19. kristarella


    13 August 2008 @ 03:27AM #

    Hmmmm, probably because IE7 loads alot faster than any other browser on Windows. Next in line is Opera. Safari is nothing but a joke!

    This is so subjective and variable that it can only come down to personal experience. If you want to use it for that reason, go for it, but everyone else will probably have to do their own testing if they care that much.

    Also, a quick search shows 9/10 the opposite is true.

  20. kristarella


    13 August 2008 @ 03:29AM #

    Unrelated question, you can delete it if you want Elliot. Why have the allowed XHTML tags when they’re not all styled for? The blockquote for instance.

  21. Christoph


    13 August 2008 @ 07:12PM #

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll take a look.

    @ Jonathan
    Thanks for the info. This is good news (for me :-)
    I used del.ico.us a long time ago and perhaps I didn’t spend enough time to explore all the features. But I felt then that the process of bookmarking was not really handy for me.
    I think I’ll give it another try soon.
    Putting some links into one’s Website sounds good too.


  22. Adam


    13 August 2008 @ 09:00PM #

    Hey Elliot,
    Nice find.. and I like the little dig at IE users/broswer "… and IE (but why on earth are you using IE, you dirty little thing?). ".

    A post on APPs you installed would very enlightening!

  23. Tom


    23 August 2008 @ 11:59AM #

    Right. What are your tools?.

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