Geeky Reader Madge from Minneapolis asked, “RSS. Digg. Delicious. What the heck do they all mean and how do I use them?” Great question, mom! I mean…um…Madge.
Let’s digg in!
I did a three-part series on RSS a couple of months ago, which you can read here, here and here. In a nutshell, RSS is a way for sites to syndicate their content, and for readers to subscribe to it. Common Craft did a fantastic short video explaining it all here:
Digg allows people to share stuff they think is cool. The more people “digg” something (an article, video, or image), the higher it rises in the rankings. For example, here is a list of the most popular articles on Digg over the past 24 hours. On the left, you can see how many diggs each article has. (Getting “dugg” can result in a lot of traffic to an article, sometimes to the point that the site is overwhelmed with traffic and either goes down, or becomes very sluggish. This is sometimes called the “Digg effect.”)
Anyone with a Digg account can submit something they think is cool (like, say, a Geek Girls Guide article). If other Digg users see it and also like it, they “digg” it. Users also police the content by using “bury” on duplicate, spam, or off-topic items. And, it just wouldn’t be Web 2.0 if they didn’t allow you to build a “network” would it? So, you can connect to friends on Digg to share diggs with each other. Or…just install the Digg Facebook app.
Delicious is a social bookmarking service. Wha? Okay…do you know about bookmarks in your web browser? If you don’t, read this paragraph. If you do, skip to the second paragraph. Bookmarks are a way to create a shortcuts to sites you really like. Every web browser has this (some may refer to bookmarks as “Favorites” but it’s the same thing). So, if you visit CNN every morning, you can create a Bookmark and click on it instead of typing “www.cnn.com” into the address bar every time. (Or, you could just subscribe to the RSS feed, right?!)
Delicious stores your bookmarks online. So, whether I’m on my computer, my mom’s computer, or the library computer, I can log in to Delicious to see all my favorite sites. In addition, I can “tag” the sites with keywords to keep things organized.
Here’s a snapshot of my Delicious account: