Having an online jewelry and charm business actually requires a lot of technological know how when it comes to doing Internet research. More importantly, keeping track of all these invaluable favorites you've bookmarked on your computer is even more challenging. It took me a while to catch onto Delicious, an amazing technological tool that will organize your bookmarks, but once I signed myself up for a free account the payoff was enormous.
One secret that I have yet to reveal about myself is that I'm a category junkie. I love putting things in order and creating systems to store them. This hobby that may have drove my family nuts when I had to catalog our whole book collection as a kid, led to numerous jobs in libraries, museums, and computer applications -- places that thrive on inventories :)
Delicious has allowed me to fulfill my dream of having all my favorite bookmarked Web sites cataloged and keyword searchable. No more scratching my head wondering what folder I stored a bookmark in that was so invaluable to me eight months ago.
In this Behind the Scenes article, I'll show you how I use Delicious for keeping Hint Jewelry on track and opening the door to sharing useful or interesting bookmarks with readers and friends.
The top photo in this article illustrates the Delicious widget that I have included on Hint Jewelry's blog sidebar. Any time you want to see what I have been bookmarking, you can look at my top picks listed in this widget. If you want to visit Hint Jewelry's Delicious account page for more bookmarks you can click on the hintjewelry link at the bottom of the widget.
Why on earth would you want to go digging through Hint Jewelry's bookmarks? Well, you never know what cool links I've got stored in there...maybe pages that offer tips on running an Etsy business, suppliers, neat jewelry designers, technology tools, or yummy recipes. I think of Hint Jewelry's Delicious page as my Internet tool kit that you are welcome to use. It's my own Internet attic that you get to sift through to find all sorts of treasures!
From the beginning, I have tried to reorganize my bookmarks in categories with appropriate keywords, but I'm only half way through. By doing this I hope to make it easier for other users and myself to find information quickly.
Add a favorite link to your Delicious account - mark private or keep public
If you sign up for your own Delicious account, the program will add three icons to your Internet browser's navigational bar. This makes bookmarking your favorite Web site a snap. When you see a page you want to make a favorite you click the icon on your Delicious toolbar and a window pops up asking you to add notes, tags, tweet on Twitter, and send to your Delicious friends.
You also get the choice of making this bookmark private or public. If you don't want other people to view this bookmark, make the link private by clicking the check box in the upper right hand corner. (hmmm...now you probably what secret links I've been hiding from you!)
Use keyword searches to quickly find a favorite bookmark using the Delicious sidebar
To locate a favorite bookmark, I don't have to visit Hint Jewelry's Delicious account page. Instead, using the Delicious toolbar on my browser, I click on the icon that brings up a left hand sidebar featuring a keyword search on all my bookmarks, a list of categories, or links found in alphabetical order.
If you open Hint Jewelry's Delicious account page, you can use the keyword tags located on the right-hand menu to browse links in a particular category. Another option, is to search Hint Jewelry's Delicious page for a particular topic such as polymer clay. To do this, look for the search field on the left hand side of the screen, below the blue face and next to hintjewelry in blue.
If you have been collecting favorite bookmarks for years, all is not lost. When you sign up for a Delicious account you are given the option of importing your current collection of bookmarks.
Delicious has added to the efficiency of my business, by allowing me to quickly find the wealth of information I have accumulated over the years on my computer. It has also connected me to other savvy Internet bookmarkers who are willing to share their expertise with me.
How could you have fun with this tool? Maybe each family member has an account and you become Delicious friends where you use it to exchange trip planning, recipes, knitting patterns, etc. Maybe you and a group of friends with the same interests (e.g., gardening, sewing, jewelry making, etc.) use it to keep on top of the latest trends. The possibilities are endless!
Be sure to check out my Behind the Scenes series for more articles about designing Hint Jewelry and managing a business.