Delicious.com is a social bookmarking site. It improves on the older method of bookmarking websites by storing the bookmark list online, by allowing the user to assign tags to their bookmarks, and by making it possible for people to share their bookmarks and see what sites other people are bookmarking. Tags, words used to describe the websites, are assigned to the bookmark by the user; many tags can be assigned to a bookmark, making it possible for a bookmark to fall into more than one category which leads to better search results.
A library could use Delicious as a type of pathfinder. A list of recommended websites about a topic could be put together and then shared on the library’s website. This would essentially be a specialized subject directory because it would be librarians choosing the websites, not a search engine spider, and they could carefully select only high quality websites. A disadvantage of social bookmarking comes from the fact that there is no standardization for the tags that people create. Delicious, therefore, loses the advantage of a controlled vocabulary. If librarians are creating the tags, however, they can battle this disadvantage because they already know how to describe information, and they can provide clear and consistent tags.