Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking tool. Instead of storing your bookmarks in your browser, you save them to this website. Simple enough. The first advantage (and the reason I first moved my bookmarks to del.icio.us) is that everything becomes centralized. I used to bookmark things at home that I needed at work and vice versa. No longer.
Also, if you use the Firefox browser, you can get the del.icio.us add-on which adds buttons to your browser for one-touch bookmarking. Click the tag button and bookmark a webpage, add tags to help you find your bookmark, and share it or keep it private, your choice. Sharing bookmarks brings up a third advantage of this service: vetted links!
Do a search for a topic on del.icio.us and you can see how many people have bookmarked each search result. Sure, this can be ‘gamed‘ just like Google searches have been. But, when Google is just taking me to spam, I find del.icio.us searches can be surprisingly helpful. If a couple of hundred people have bookmarked it, it’s probably worth checking out.
Finally, there is the untapped potential of del.icio.us. At least, it’s untapped by me. Linkrolls can be created (for a blog like this one, say) so that links are automatically updated and sorted by del.icio.us. I could list my latest links, links I’ve tagged with ‘esltech’ or ‘blog’ etc. Very interesting oppotunity of which I have yet to avail myself. But, at least you have something to look forward to if you keep reading.