is a social network.

Users publicly share url’s, notes, and metadata associated with websites bookmarked by the user throughout the course of their own Web surfing.

This information, then, becomes the foundation for a useful search tool which often provides more productive (or at least differently productive) search results than Google.

Outside of its function as a search engine, delicious users manage a stream of their own bookmarks that are viewable to anyone that has become a “fan” of the user’s bookmarking.

In turn, the user can become a fan of others and view all of their bookmarks in a stream representing the entire network of others users that the first user has become a fan of.

The use of the term “fan” on Delicious – as opposed to, say, “friend,” “subscriber,” or “follower” – denotes a consideration of the social network as a game space.

This is an important shift regarding a social network’s description of its own functionality. In Delicious, social capital is gained through performance in a game.

While many users of the site are not particularly engaged with this game (for example, they bookmark for their own research and pay little attention to other users bookmarks), there are many other users who do play.

Some find a niche – say, computer science bookmarks or experimental music bookmarks – which become a key consistent note in the data flow of the bookmarking network.

Other users account for a potpourri of moves through the Web – from, say, a funny YouTube clip, to a news item on Internet security in China, to a Wikipedia entry on a scientific theory, to whatever else the user comes across – each of which adds (what one hopes to be) a harmonious note in the data flow.

And, finally, a small number of Delicious users – such as, for instance, J_O_D_I – turn their performance through the cloud into a type of self-reflexive artwork in which bookmarking becomes about itself.

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