del.icio.us Whuffie Bookmarklet

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Add the via: tag to your bookmarks

Delicious Whuffie is a bookmarklet that, when clicked, adds via:username to the tags field when saving a bookmark that you discovered through another Delicious user. It is intended to be used in your network, subscriptions or inbox.

I have also created (and prefer) a version of the bookmarklet that adds all of that other user's tags along with the via: tag. I seem to always do that anyway when tagging with via:

Install the del.icio.us Whuffie bookmarklet

Drag this link to your browser's bookmarks toolbar (if that doesn't work try right-clicking it). Once installed, clicking the bookmarklet will add the via: tag to bookmarks you save from your network and inbox.
Delicious Whuffie
If you'd like to add all the other user's tags in addition to the via: tag, drag this link to your browser's bookmarks toolbar instead:
Delicious Whuffie (also adds tags)

The bookmarklet has been tested on Mac and Windows in Firefox 3, IE 7 and Safari 3/WebKit. Currently the “adds tags” version does NOT work in IE 6. The bookmarklet should work in other JavaScript-capable browsers but YMMV.

If for some reason you can't figure out how to install the bookmarklet for your particular browser, review these instructions for installing the official Delicious bookmarklets.

Background

The via: tag

Early in 2007 I began to notice the sudden, if infrequent, appearance of tags that took the form of via:frobnitz. Eventually I glarked that frobnitz always corresponded to a Delicious user name. Such tags were meant to convey attribution for a bookmark. This was meta-data about the provenance of information.

That interested me because I was pretty new to Delicious and one of the things on my mind all the time as I delved into other people's links was -- where did all of this stuff come from? So now I knew there was at least a small community of other people who wondered about the same thing.

At the time I was able to find only two articles about the practice: Web Worker Daily had recommended it in 8 Tips for Better del.icio.us Bookmarking, and that article also referenced A reputation economy via “via:”? by Ric Hayman of Aqualung.

I used the via: tag pretty religiously from then on, and as I got tired of typing it I created a bookmarklet to populate it for me. Since I knew by that time that quite a few people were using the tag, I posted the bookmarklet on my development blog in 2007 and I also made an announcement on YDN-delicious. And Ric Hayman was nice enough to give the whuffie bookmarklet a trackback as well.

Then about a year later I got another nice trackback from Nicola D'Agostino, a Web developer based in Italy. On that comments thread, Engtech suggested using via: to track the originating Web site for a bookmark instead. Many of the other commenters agreed this would also be useful. I've stuck to the strategy I started out with, but as of August 16, 2008, a query for system:has:via returns over 110,000 bookmarks; some of which refer to users and some to Web sites. I have no immediate way of telling which approach is more prevalent. Something to look into in the future.

Cory Doctorow coined Whuffie

The word “whuffie” describes a unit of currency for a global reputation-based economy in Cory Doctorow's post-scarcity sci-fi story Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. I first encountered the term on Ric Hayman's original post about the via: tag.