Things I Would Like to See in del.icio.us

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I’ve written before about del.icio.us as an important asset in my research tools arsenal (see here, here, or here), but I wanted to highlight two things I wish del.icio.us could do now as suggestions for potential design consideration down the road.

1. OEM option for third party applications (both client and server):

In truth, this is actually already here, at least in part. The del.icio.us API is exposed, and application extensions like foxylicious have begun to leverage that. But the integration could be much more extensive and deep. I’d love, for example, for my Movable Type installation to support del.icio.us as a replacement for the broken (in our case, anyhow) category system. You can do this externally, as Jon Udell does, but a native, inline integration with MT would be far, far easier to manage.

And I’ve already pitched the integration of del.icio.us style metadata within the office productivity suites (here), but a del.icio.us integration would be a far superior option to individual, siloed implementations within product sets. Why? Because the underlying power of del.icio.us and its ilk is the community, the centralized collection and consolidation of information. Differing implementations of community metadata from application to application would merely create isolated pockets of information, an approach with limited value.

For these reasons, I’d love to see my favorite applications become more del.icio.us.

2. Visualization of Tagged Data:

This one’s much simpler. I’ve been thinking for a while about the possibility of personal Business Intelligence tools – data mining on an individual basis, if you will, and I think the visualization of our tagging behavior would be a great step in that direction.

Think 10×10 (for its timeline) + Extisp.icio.us (for it’s weighted importance and plotting) + McSearchPreview (for thumbnail retrieval and presentation.

If my metadata and the above functions could be thrown into a blender, whirled around, and come out as a visual picture of what I’ve been researching, when, and how much time I spent on it, that would be a tremendous new tool. I’d have objective, distanced insight into my own activities and would be able to highlight trends and other difficult to perceive patterns, in much the same fashion as enterprises use their BI toolsets.

Update: Speak of the devil…Udell posted on exactly what I mentioned above here.

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