January 2, 2014 by Kathryn Kuttis
Tantalizing hyperlinks and bizarre news stories online distract me. My email and Twitter notifications can be turned off easily but show me a headline about a great white shark or awkward family photos and I’m gone.
The flood of options calling to me online can make it impossible to stay focused or find my way back to a useful link. Sure it would make sense to bookmark a good article or move it to my reading list but my internal voice is busy rationalizing the distraction. It doesn’t want to be sensible. It wants adventure and novelty. It says, “We’re coming right back. It’ll be fine.”
Click, click, click. What did Kate and Pippa do for New Year’s Eve? Click, click, click. Did Dean cheat on Tori? Ahem. These are just examples of what could be out there. Nothing I would read, of course.
Has anything like that ever happened to you? What about an article that you did save but now you can’t remember where you filed it? Yup, me too.
My social media guru, Kelli Matthews, told me about delicious.com and now I use it to organize all of my online finds. A social bookmarks manager, it lets me collect and organize content without deciding where it needs to go. With one click, I can save and give multiple tags to anything that catches my eye. Then when I need to find it again, I just search for it on my Delicious page.
This is not the only tool out there for the job but it might be the easiest and I like easy when it comes to filing. I also like seeing Kelli’s links. She follows public relations and has amassed 3,953 links.
It might be wishful thinking on my part but browsing content feels more productive when I send a few links to Delicious. I can get distracted and still find my way back later. The links add up quickly and create a useful resource. Like other social media platforms, I can network with friends and follow new contacts that collect links that I like.
I know it feels daunting to add yet another step to your online ritual but this one is simple and actually gives you a way to stay focused.
Students in my J452 class collect links each week that are relevant to the topics we discuss. We follow each other and share the links we find. At the end of the term, they have a customized library of bookmarks and the beginnings of a professional network. Those are handy when it comes time to find a job.
To learn more about delicious.com visit their blog or sign up and start gathering links.