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Delicious ‘Power Tips’ for Teachers

delicious iconDelicious is a free web based application that allows you to organize all of your bookmarks. However, if that is all you are using it for, you are missing out on some really outstanding things it can do for you.

Following are a few Delicious tips that I have shared with folks verbally over the past few years, but have never written down. I hope you find something useful. By the way – I’m going to assume you are already a Delicious user and focus on some intermediate/advanced ideas.

1) Firefox Integration

The most obvious tip would be to use the Firefox Add-on provided by Delicious.  This will allow you to import any bookmarks you already have in Firefox to begin with, and then provide the easiest pathway to add new content as you go forward.

That’s a no-brainer. The “one more thing” here is that I have never chosen to use the add-on icons as provided by default in your Firefox menubar. I’m a minimalist when it comes to my browser window, and those three large icons just won’t do. That’s why I right-click on the Firefox menubar, choose “Customize…”  and remove them.

I then drag the Delicious “Bookmarks” icon to the far left end of my Firefox “Bookmark Toolbar” which inserts it as a much smaller icon in an area I am accustomed to using for bookmarks anyway.

Finally, I drag the Delicious “Tag” icon to the far right end of the same menubar, achieving the same efficiency of space, while continuing to have ever present access to Delicious’ “Save” interface.

delicious web pages2) Instant Web Pages

One thing that often goes overlooked in Delicious is the masterful way that it creates brand new unique web pages for about everything you do in the tool. For example, just by creating a user account, you are given a URL for your bookmarks. It is simply the Delicious web address with your username at the end.

It doesn’t stop there. Everytime you use a ‘Tag’ to describe a web page, you get a unique URL that will hold all of the pages you’ve tagged with that word. It is simply appended to the end of the personal URL you already have. For example:


Stop for a moment to consider the power that your Tags offer. You can continue to tag things as you always have, but what about those slivers of your library that you would like to share with specific audiences? You can have a web page for each instance. For example:

For the high school teacher who wants pages for their respective classes:


You are a Principal and want to share really good resources or articles you find with your staff:


For the grad school student who is researching a specific paper:


For the teacher who is delivering staff development after school:


You are really only limited by your own imagination.

faviconA few times in the past I have suggested to elementary lab instructors that they keep a Tag for each grade level. Then they can visit it that page and drag the favicon to the computer’s desktop. Rename the file as you wish, place an easily distinguishable icon on it, and make it available on the desktop of all the lab computers. When the 3rd graders enter, ask them to click “the blue circle that says 3rd grade” and viola – Firefox launches and automatically goes to the correct page of links. When you decide to add a new link for next week, all you have to do is bookmark it in Delicious and add the proper tag for that grade level.

3) These are Not The Droids You Are Looking For

Remember that each time you add something to Delicious you have the ability to click the “do not share” checkbox. Then YOU will be the only person who can see these items in your library. (Unless you are logged into Delicious while plugged into a projector in front of a room full of people. Then the whole room might see the bookmark. Not that that has happened to me, or anything.)

4) Why Should YOU Do All the Work?

Subscriptions and RSS are a match made in heaven, and Delicious offers both.

Subscriptions are your way of setting up a permanent “search” for links that match a criteria of your choosing. Let’s say you are interested in photography. Click the “Tags” tab and choose “Subscriptions”. Enter “photography” as your tag and Delicious automatically feeds any page that anyone else in Delicious has tagged with “photography” to your subscription page.

RSS bookmarksThat’s great, but it gets better. At the bottom of every page in Delicious you’ll find an RSS feed for that particular page. Add that feed to your news reader (Google Reader, NetNewsWire, Firefox/Safari live bookmarks, etc.) and the subscriptions will come to you. You don’t even have to log into Delicious to see them!

5) Blog

Delicious loves to share. There are some easy ways to get your bookmarks over to the blog you have set up.

Remember that RSS feed at the bottom of each page? Copy it and use it in your blog sidebar. Better yet, create a tag called BLOG and apply it to any specific bookmarks that you want to appear in your blog sidebar. That way only the topic specific ones appear.

At the bottom of the Settings page in Delicious is a section of tools for your blog. Click on “Link Rolls” to create a box that displays your latest bookmarks, customized with the look & feel of your website. Copy the HTML they provide and insert that as a block in your webpage or blog. Instant Link Roll.

You’ll also notice that Delicious has the ability to automatically add an entry to your blog each day with the latest links you have added. That’s great, but don’t let the links be plain old links. People who come to your bog want some “value-add” from you. Use the description box when adding bookmarks to add your own comments or spin on the ideas presented in the link.

6) Shameless Self Promotion

You worked hard on that web page about the 4th grade Force and Motion unit, or the students worked hard on their “recorded history” interviews with community members. Make it easier for people to find and bookmark your pages in Delicious by adding a “save button.”

Bookmark this on Delicious

Posted in My Thoughts, Tips & Tutorials.