I’m continually amazed at the vast numbers of great websites there are for genealogical research. Y’all know that I created the Internet Genealogy toolbar to try to keep track of the ones that I use most often, and am continually adding to it. It’s really very handy to have these websites so readily available.
Some folks just save their website discoveries in their Bookmarks or Favorites folders, but personally I have a hard time finding anything once I’ve saved it to one of those folders. I’m not always using my own computer, either, which means that I don’t always have access to my toolbar, or bookmarks or favorites folders.
But anytime, and anywhere that I’m online, I have access to a website called Delicious (http://delicious.com/).
Delicious is a free website devoted to “social bookmarking” (they even coined the phrase). It's basically a great place to store, organize and share your bookmarks online.
It's so easy to find websites that you have saved in Delicious. When you save a webpage, you have the option of adding “tags”, which are descriptive key words. You can add as many tags as you like, and whatever words you like. This way, you can add words that might help jog your memory. When you’re searching your bookmarks you can search by those tags, so that all of your “Ohio”, “death certificate” , or even “Smith Family” bookmarks show up in a list. When you’re adding a bookmark, you also have the option of adding “Notes”, so that you can remember what you liked about that website, as well as let others know what you found there that was great.
In addition to storing your own bookmarks, you can also search through other people’s bookmarks to see what they’re finding that you may have missed. It’s a great way to discover some obscure but valuable websites to enhance your own research.
Sign in for a free account, and be sure to download the free Delicious buttons for your toolbar. With these buttons, you can easily open your own bookmarks in a sidebar, open the entire website, and best of all, very easily save a webpage to save to your Delicious bookmarks.
When you do a search from the main Delicious page, if you are signed in, your results will appear first under the heading “My Bookmarks”, followed by many more under the heading “Everybody’s Bookmarks”. The results also list the associated tags with each bookmark, giving you ideas of possible other words to search to find even more websites to peruse.
When signed in, from the Settings tab at the very top, you can do all sorts of things. You can easily import or upload the bookmarks on your computer from your “Bookmarks” or “Favorites” folders and even share your bookmarks via Twitter. From Settings, you can also revise, edit and organize your tag list easily.
Delicious also has ways to connect to other users by setting up a network, which would be groups of people that you share interests with. There is even an experimental feature that will post your newly added bookmarks to your blog daily, if you are so inclined.
Consider using Delicious for storing your bookmarks, as well as for finding new ones. Not only is it a great organization tool for your own research, but sharing with others is always a good thing :)