After playing a bit with del.icio.us I thought about what is good about it. I really think it is nothing “great”. Although it IS definitely useful. Some guys of the Epiphany browser have thought about also integrating del.icio.us into their browser, especially for getting possible “tags” as a suggestion. The thing is: Everybody has and uses bookmarks. It definitely makes very few sense for most bookmarks to have them just for one self. Bookmarks are places – and it is nice to share such information. I think some bookmarks you do not want to share. those will be bookmarks you are using in an intranet or some kind of configuration (phpmyadmin, ISP login, webmail, etc.).
While playing around I came to the conclusion that it is less interesting to “have” bookmarks in delicious as to find bookmarks or just use them. Buit I think the whole system could be much more useful. I think sites like flickr.com are much more fun. What i am missing is some more context to a bookmark, people are not commenting a lot. It would be fun to have lots of coments for one link, even discussion. The “tags” are dumb. Singular and plural are not recognized. It would be nice to have tags bundled – some kind of machine that suggests bookmarks for me basing on what I like. I think one could completely forget the feature of personal bookmarks in delicious: Every new bookmark comes into the pool and only gets added more tags. And it would be cool to have bookmarks organizable for a whole site – maybe one should also should be able to lookup the provider, the location of the servers, sort by web server software. I remember there was a cools software that made graphics out of Google connections between sites that link to each other. It would also be nice (that i was always wishing from Google) to reduce pages with the same content. You know that: Some sites are just copying Wikipedia, but Google does not tell you that. This should be easy. Is Yahoo making that now that they bought delicious? I hope so. People are copying contents – and it is nice that there are many copies, because servers are not always available. I would like to see a feature that shows me the similarity between many sites. Ads could be filtered, also the name of the site, so you than get: “this site is 90% the same contents as the first result” or soemthing like that. What that would make is that I do not have to visit all these “mirror”-Sites just to find out that I already know the content.
I am also looking for a method of intelligent history. I think currently this is als plain dumb to just put every single page into the history. I also think some of the history could be made public. What also would be nice is if you can tell (the browser?) that a site has good content – you rate it, it helped you in a special way. Than if you want to find this page in some weeks or so, you should not have to browse the history. btw: I also do not think searching the history with new tools would be good, because a hit does not say anything about quality. But it would help if yor browser would know that others think this page is good. Well, not definitely, because there are different people with different tastes – that’s what www.last.fm tries to work with. It does not just tells you what band is “the best” – that does not help, but it tells you what people that have a similar taste than you think also is a good band. I think integration of such mechanisms into a browser is crucial. I don’t think I should have to visit a web site in order to get help. The browser should manage the communication and should protect my privacy where necessary. this is (again) why I think Flock had some good ideas. What do people want: If the look for information they are satisfied if they find it. Rigth now I am often using Wikipedia at the first place. I am not using Google. So in a sense Google and Wikipedia nurture the same needs.
Although: I would not have to visit Wikipedia. Askjeeves had a good idea to let people ask questions. They seemed to have ended this kind of search.
I expect to have an interface on my Desktop that let me ask questions. it also should store answers. Imagine you want to know what “Flock” is. So you ask “What is Flock?”. What should than happen? The DesktopEngine should know what to do – it might take a look into installed applications and manuals “on board” and give this as a link. It might also intellligently present the first sentense of Wikipedia entry. This first sentense often gives a good summary. The reader could also click on “read more”. The engine also could lookup some dictionaries, even present some translations.
I know this would leed to a whole lot of problems for common web sites that live from banner ads. But we can not stand still just that established business models keep on working. I think if you see it this way: Most of the time in searching for answers we waste a lot of time! In business people say “time is money”. Ok, than the whole search procedure costs mmiilions of hours of our precious time. Just add the hours of all internet users trying to find a simple answer. They could use the time much better, like for free time, sleeping, trying to make something really useful. The current business modell of most web sites try to do the opposit: They want users to come often to their sites and stay there a long time. They are often not interested to give users what they need in and easy way. Every web site works for itself. Each wants to profit most from the users. But that also means people are not doing what they should do. Alltogether this results in an endloss effort of users to get information despite the websites.
The answer would be better cooperation between websites and not just to get high click rates or to push the banner ads. This is simply stupid capitalism! This leads to nowhere. A good economy would mean a very high state of cooperation. What else does this mean? It would mean that owning a content can not be a great thing. Many sites live from the proerty of their content. Some sites let users provide content but then “steal” it or make it their own property.
So users should force websites to open up their database and use free licenses like delicious and flickr already do. Where coudl we use that? Amazon reviews for instance. Amazon owns a review of a reader. But they should be something like Public Domain, rather. These are points that Jimmy Wales, founder pof Wikipedia also points out: “free the…” We need to free many content. People write a review at Amazon not because they want to help Amazon, but because they want to help other potential readers. What if those reviews would be under a free license? What than could happen is that this free content could travel from site to site, could be reused, reformatted, extended and than could also be used by many other bookstores. those reviews should not be the property of Amazon!! So if you want I just wrote: Do not write any reviews at Amazon until Amazon frees the reviews!