My Delicious Bookmarks

Ever since I started using Delicious to save bookmarks I always thought one day they’d start offering ways for you to go back through them spotting patterns and surfacing interesting things. They never have, so I thought I’d give it a try.

To Start

I started using in February 2005.

The first website I bookmarked was the website of my very good friend Kev. Sadly that website no longer exists. It was a bizarre, brilliant and beautifully crafted website which is greatly missed.

Over the 89 months since then I’ve saved 1935 bookmarks. That's about 22 per month. I’ve used 1104 different tags and used them 6538 times.

I’ve used, on average, 3.4 tags per bookmark.


Those 1936 bookmarks come from 1547 different domains (not much overlap there).

Top Twenty Domains My Bookmarks Belong To

  1. — 28 times
  2. — 27 times
  3. — 19 times
  4. — 17 times
  5. — 14 times
  6. — 13 times
  7. — 11 times
  8. — 10 times
  9. — 10 times
  10. — 10 times
  1. — 9 times
  2. — 8 times
  3. — 8 times
  4. — 8 times
  5. — 7 times
  6. — 7 times
  7. — 6 times
  8. — 6 times
  9. — 6 times
  10. — 6 times


The tags I’ve used follow a classic “long-tail” curve with a few tags predominating (on the left) and a large amount of tags only being use once or twice ever (on the right).

The most used tag was design which I’ve used 282 times.

There are 547 tags that have only ever been used once.

(Ridiculously I parsed and generated this graph properly from the actual data.)

Top ten Tags I Used

  1. design — 282 times
  2. webdesign — 253 times
  3. flash — 202 times
  4. javascript — 129 times
  5. howto — 111 times
  6. tools — 110 times
  7. inspiration — 104 times
  8. css — 101 times
  9. mobile — 81 times
  10. as3 — 79 times

As you can see above these 10 tags account for about ¼ of all tag usage

(My God! doesn't that just show me up to be the geeky webdesigner that I am?)

This next graph shows those Top Ten Tags as they were used monthly from 2005 through to the present.

That’s a bit confusing so let’s split out a few of them to see better. Here’s design and webdesign together. You can see that both have bumbled along, design generally dominating, until mid-2010 when suddenly webdesign goes crazy and has dominated since.
(I've added transparency so you can see both throughout)

Here’s an interesting one. I’ve been vaguely interested in flash for as long as I’ve worked with the web, but there was a time, just around the time I left Orange, where I did a lot of flash for a while. Interestingly this is represented here by the introduction of the as3 tag (actionscript is flash’s scripting language) which peters out around the same time that work stopped.

Another aspect of this is my changing use of delicious. I remember when I started out I used the tag toread a lot more, until I realised that I was never going back to read them at all and so I stopped.

Here you can see my fading use of howto against the gradual rise of inspiration. They’re mainly unrelated tags but I clearly changed the kinds of things I was bookmarking over this period.

(You could say this reflects my gradual career path from developer to designer … but I couldn’t possiblly comment.)

Just for comparision here’s a graph of the usage of all tags (not just the top ten) over the same period.


Delicious lets you enter a description for each bookmark you save so I took all those descriptions and entered them into wordle which produced this:

Nothing tremendously surprising in there really is there? Of course, I'm bound to have described most stuff I bookmarked as “good, nice, interesting stuff” although I love the way that “ just, might, work” have gathered themselves at the top right.

It’s predominantly full of positive words (why bookmark a site I hate?) and with the expected smattering of job-related terms.

It’s funny looking at this though how those predictable bookmarking phrases jump out at you. Given that descriptions are optional I can’t help thinking most people’s descriptions will be similar. Has anyone really used the description for more interesting content?

Still with me?

As you've seen at the start, my first bookmark doesn't work anymore and I was interested to find out how many of the others don't either. Rather than checking each by hand I wrote a little script to go through them and collect the HTTP Response Code from each website. This is a pretty crude measure as even a 200 ( success ) code doesn't tell me whether the content is the same (Kev's website in fact is a good example of this). Still... it was something I could do quite quickly.

HTTP Codes returned

  1. 200 — OK — 1154 bookmarks
  2. 301 — Moved Permanently — 352 bookmarks
  3. 404 — Not Found — 168 bookmarks
  4. 302 — Temporarily Moved— 125 bookmarks
  5. 303 — Redirected — 31 bookmarks
  6. 405 — Not Allowed — 20 bookmarks
  7. 403 — Forbidden — 16 bookmarks
  8. 410 — Gone — 4 bookmarks
  9. 500 — Server Error — 4 bookmarks
  10. 503 — Unavailable — 3 bookmarks
  11. 502 — Bad Gateway — 1 bookmark
  12. 406 — Not Acceptable — 1 bookmark
  13. 501 — Not Implemented — 1 bookmark
  14. 204 — No Content — 1 bookmark
  15. 203 — Non-Authoritative Information — 1 bookmark

Well yes but what does that actually mean?

More Clearly

I've broken that down into still there and
gone for a bit more clarity.

  1. Still there — 1664 bookmarks
  2. Gone — 272 bookmarks

So that’s a large majority which look like
they still exist and have at least some
content. I guess there’s a fair few of
them which have expired and have been turned
into link farms or something and you can obviously see
the red chunk that seem to have disappeared completely.


I started writing a few thoughts and reflections on Delicious and the way I’ve used it and ended up writing a whole bloomin’ essay. So I’ve stuck it on my blog instead.

Take a look if you want. Cheerio!

  1. design
  2. webdesign
  3. flash
  4. javascript
  5. howto
  6. tools
  7. inspiration
  8. css
  9. mobile
  10. as3