I’m not going to abandon Sediment or anything, but I’ve totally fallen in love with del.icio.us. It describes itself as a “social bookmarks manager,” but what it really is is an extremely lightweight weblogging tool. Not weblogging in the sense of an online diary or a personal op-ed column, but in its original sense of creating a “log of the Web,” tracing the author’s trail of pages read and links followed.

One of the nice things about del.icio.us is the same thing that’s nice about wikis: its lack of features is a strength rather than a drawback. Like a wiki, it seems limiting and under-engineered at first, but when enough people fill it up with enough content, patterns and networks start to appear, and since a simple structure is enforced by the limits of the tool, those patterns don’t get lost amidst lots of noise.

What really pleases me about the site is the fact that it’s extremely similar to my first weblog, linkswamp. Linkswamp, like del.icio.us, was a simple bookmark-manager-cum-weblog; the difference was that unlike del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter, it never occurred to me that it might be useful or interesting to allow people to share and stir their links together, which is the big difference between del.icio.us and a big flat-file full of URLs sitting on my hard drive. Linkswamp was also the first and only Perl script I ever wrote, which is partly why I don’t still use it: there was some nasty, nasty code in there.

Personal weblogging history aside, though, del.icio.us is a great site for people who want to share links with their friends, but don’t want the hassle of actually maintaining a full-blown weblog. The only crappy thing about it is having to type all those periods into the address. It’s a clever use of a domain name, but an annoying use for my keyboard.