Deliciously Revealing Bookmarks
Del.icio.us is an awesome tool, plain and simple. It lets you easily access your bookmarks from any computer, take advantage of other peoples’ reading and even track topics over time. I’ve written before about six great ways to make your life easier with del.icio.us.
Today, though, I’m warning you to be careful what you bookmark. Your bookmarks can reveal a lot about you.
You should already know that pretty much everything you do online leaves a footprint that can reflect on you for years to come. Your bookmarks are no different.
The sites you save can reveal a pattern.
I can tell you, for example, that one of my contacts recently saved a lot of links to sites about photo collages. Another got very interested in social media measurement recently. Another is into fantasy baseball.
That’s pretty harmless stuff. I’m sure they don’t mind that I know that, just as I don’t mind that they know (from my del.icio.us bookmarks) that I checked out GroupTweet yesterday and a post on American Airlines’ crisis blog the day before.
Be careful with your links
What about more private stuff?
How about the person that got very interested in a particular company all of a sudden?
Did it signal an upcoming career change? Personally I wouldn’t want my boss seeing that. Perhaps they’re for an upcoming pitch for new business? Nice way to inform competitors that the company may be looking.
Here’s a tip: Del.icio.us has a “do not share” option. If you’re saving links that you’d rather other people not see, use it. Your link will then just be saved for you, away from prying eyes.
This doesn’t change the fact that del.icio.us is an extremely useful tool. It is still at its most powerful when you share links with others.
However, this serves as a reminder to be careful with everything you do online. That includes bookmarks.