Why didn’t I install this ages ago? Yoz Grahame’s del.icio.us search plugin for Firefox. Now I’m just two clicks, the typing of a search term, and one retrieval away from my bookmarks. Sweet. My outboard brain just got 100% more efficient.
Perhaps more significantly, del.icio.us has a new tagging interface. In the past, Joshua Schachter had expressed a reluctance to taint users’ immediate intuition of the best tags for an item by giving them too much guidance from their own or others’ past tagging behavior. He seems to have backed off from that position some: the new del.icio.us tagging form gives you tag recommendations, then shows you a low-fi heatmap of your complete tag list with the recommendations highlighted, as well as the most popular tags used by others. The form is nicely dynamic with a whiff of RIA and ajax about it, too. A great improvement in functionality next to the multi-step process that used to be necesssary to tag an item then look back and see how your usage compared with that of others. Although as with the rest of del.icio.us, it’s unlikely to be clear to naive users quite what’s going on.
I feel gratified because this is just the direction I was hoping to see tagging interfaces move in in the not particularly earth-shaking paper I wrote for a class this spring (“Tags: What are They Good For?“). Now let’s see whether Schachter or others find ways to make tagging easier still.