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Curing Email Overload one for:bushwald at a Time

I’ve told several people in email that they should start using the for: feature in In the hopes of getting more people to do it, I thought I’d document the process.

There are many, many other great ways to use, but this is just a quick intro to give context and then a narrowing down to the for: tag.

What is A Quick Overview is the best tagging and bookmarking service available today: not only does it have the technology, it has a huge user base which makes social software features like the for: tag work wonderfully.

A bookmarking is pretty close to what it sounds like, but gets it’s magic from being stored in hosted, open service rather than a menu bar in your desktop browser.


Once you have the bookmarkelet or plugin installed, you can bookmark a page by clicking it. You’re offered 3 primary fields to edit, a title, description, and tags:


  • is nice enough to pre-fill the URL and title for you by yanking it from the page, but you can change both of those or add text to it.
  • The description is good for quotes, notes about the article, or doing thlinking which, roughly, meaning writing in short commentary such as why this is interesting enough to bookmark.
  • The tags are essentially keywords. Their primary purpose is to make it easier for you to lookup bookmarks later, but they have other interesting content management and mashup uses, as does almost every feature in

Using Your and Other’s Bookmarks

Once you bookmark a link, it shows up on your page: bookmarks page

More specifically, the end result of doing all this are 3 things:

That’s a quick intro for now. If you, dear readers, would like to find out more, I’d be happy to blog more. But, as has been around for sometime, there are probably some good write-ups online.

I wanted to talk about a newer feature in that I’d like more people to start using: the for: tag which lets you send and receive links to users.

for: Easy Way to Send Links

Traditionally, when you wanted to send a link to someone(s), you would fire up your email client, paste the link in, write some commentary, and send the email. The receiver of the email then has to sort through all the link emails they get along with all the meeting scheduling, newsletter, group discussion, and other email crap.

Putting Email on a Diet

The point is: nowadays, we want to get as much crap out of our email inboxes as possible. RSS has solved this problem to a great extent by moving update notifications and content out of your email inbox and into your feed aggregator. While that shift may seem like little than old wine in new bottles, the dynamics of feed reading (namely, that there isn’t an urgency to it and that you choose which feeds your subscribe to) help solve the information over-load problem.

Moving Links Out

Along those lines, has a great, little feature in it’s for tag. It works like this:


  1. I find a web page that I want to bookmark and also send to Matt.
  2. As I’m bookmarking the link, I add the simple tag for:mray.
  3. saves the bookmark for me.
  4. Now, Matt can look at the bookmark either on his personal page, or, better, in his person for: RSS feed.

Similarly, if Matt wants to send me a URL, he does the same thing, but uses my username instead of his: for:bushwald.

Here’s how the above bookmark looks in Matt’s page:

And here’s how it would appear in bloglines, his feed reader:

Bookmarking, Keeping Track

In general, if you think a link is valuable enough to send to someone, it’s probably valuable enough to bookmark as well. That “rule” makes the whole process work well. Also, because you’ve bookmarked it, you can easily search through all the links you’ve sent people. For example, I can go to the URL and see all the links I’ve sent.

Fixing Email Overload One Email Type at a Time

On the receiving end, this is much nicer than shifting through a bunch of link emails and. On the sending end, it’s much better than context switching from web browsing to emailing.

Using It

As I mentioned above: anything that moves content out of email into RSS is aces in my book. RSS is a much better way to produce and consume a lot of the information that’s trapped in email, and’s for: tag is a great help in un-trapping content.

(Related is tagging links you get from people with the via: tag, but I’ll let you read up on that elsewhere if you’re interested.)

The reason I’m writing this up, however, is to get more of you, dear readers, to use the for: tag. As I mentioned sometime ago on my other blog, I’ve found that subscribing to other people’s bookmarks is one of the best sources for content. Getting links via the for: tag is equally useful.

In order to start using it, and, hopefully, using it with me, you just need to:

  1. Get a account.
  2. Start bookmarking.
  3. If you see a link you think I might like, just add the tag for:bushwald. That is, my username is “bushwald.”
  4. If you’d like me to start sending you links, just send me your ID, either by bookmarking this or your page and for:‘ing me, leaving a comment below, or (least favorable and ironic option) emailing me.

This whole process won’t be as widely adopted as email — the sloppy-good nature of email makes it almost undefeatable as a content management and workflow system — but at least, if email overloading annoys you, you’ve got a fix for your link-world in

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Collaborative, Links, Social Software.

Comment Feed

9 Responses

  1. Oh Baby – I am sending this article to a zillion people. Crap – since they don't know about delicious – I guess I gotta email it to them. Hmmmm. Oh well – hopefully ITS THE LAST DAMN LINK I have to send by email!

  2. Damn that is a sweet moustache. It makes me look manly like Freddie Mercury. Hmmm… on second thought.

  3. Chris: cool, good luck. And, if you think more docs along these lines on would be helpful, I’d be happy to write them up. has a great “Metcalfe Multiplier,” so the more people who use it, the better.
    mray: as always, it is a sweet mustache. I should keep them on hand for such fotes.

  4. You are quickly becoming my favourite Redmonk analyst. 🙂 Nice informative post.

  5. Well, thanks Ian. That's quite the compliment. It's looking like I should write a couple more posts along these lines: many people have enjoyed this one.

  6. Cote’,

    Thanks for this article. It was extremely helpful. Now I know where all those damn links for me are coming from … 😉

  7. Thanks Cote. I’m beginning to get the point of this delicious thing, unlike technorati which promised so much, only to disappoint.

  8. Ron, Thomas: thanks! I’m glad it’s useful to you.
    Thomas: I’m posting a longer reply about technorati…

Continuing the Discussion

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