I am a big fan and user of del.icio.us. In fact, I am planning to do the entire index for my book in del.icio.us – sort of a visual version of that thing in the back of every book to help you find who is mentioned in it. When it comes to seeking information, del.icio.us is a big source of information for me because I rely on the way that others have tagged and saved information to find relevant content. It is the wisdom of the crowds in action. The thing I recently realized, though, is that there are two things that I found myself searching for quite often, trying to use del.icio.us for, and getting frustrated. The main problem with del.icio.us is that most of the content for a particular link lies behind a click. While the tags describing content are often strong, the description that people enter is usually not as useful.
The end result is that you follow a link, but then are forced to scan the entire text of the page to find the one small piece that you were looking for. The two situations this has become most evident for me is when I was seeking a stat or a quote. Both situations are essentially a search for a single relevant line of text, instead of a full page of material. So this leads me to the idea for this edition of IdeaBar … what if there was a version of a tool like del.icio.us just for stats and quotes? People would still save links for original source material, but the text of the quote or stat would be included automatically in the description. The keywords would also describe the context of each quote or stat, making it easy to find.
Quotes may be a bit book or presentation centric, but imagine a tool like this for stats … every person who has had to pull together a presentation and use noteworthy stats to prove their point would probably find it useful. At the very least, it would help me to more easily file the stats that I do find so I can use them later. What do you think?
About the Idea Bar: Working in a creative team, the life of our business is new ideas. We come up with them every day for clients, but sometimes there are ideas that just don’t fit a client. They are too big, too different, or just not quite right. Inspired by John at Digital Influence Mapping Project, the IdeaBar is a category of posts that are meant to be "open source" and offer new ideas for marketing. Take them and use them … all I ask for is a link back to this post if you find these ideas useful and talk about them. Read more IdeaBar posts on this blog.