Mar 17 2010
Finding the most useful and relevant resources on the web is easy: just use Google… right?
Well, relying solely on Google will often bring you mediocre results and a lot of frustration. For instance, if you search for “the best CRM tool,” the very first result will be this article. It’s a top 10 list (punctuated by Google Ads, of course) with the phrase “Highly recommended” next to 8 of the 10 suggested tools. You’re a bit wary of their recommendations because of how sloppy the site looks, so you move on to the second result: a top 5 list. They don’t endorse any of the sites from the first article… Strange. On to the third result from Google: “an insider’s guide” to finding the best deals on CRM software… that requires you to register before downloading it. Ugh.
Thankfully, there’s a faster and easier way to find solid resources. Just use delicious.com. Here’s how:
Put http://delicious.com/popular/crm into the address bar. The /popular/crm extension will show you the sites that have been most frequently tagged as ‘crm’:
Delicious.com/popular takes a lot of the guesswork out of search by showing the number of people who have tagged those sites (see the numbers on the right side of the image). You don’t have to determine if something is legit, because that’s already been verified by X number of users. For this particular search, it’s fairly safe to assume that any site that’s been tagged by more than 2,000 people will be a good choice.
And just like that, you’ve found exactly what you were looking for: the best the web has to offer for CRM tools.
Now let’s say you want to get really specific and search for more than one keyword. Easy: just use the /tag/ extension instead of /popular/, and add on keywords like so: “keyword1+keyword2+keyword3.” I actually had to do this last night, so I’ll show you a personal example.
I was looking for an old Springwise article about a sports website that allows people to upload videos of themselves and receive personalized instruction from professional coaches. Cool concept, but I couldn’t remember the name of the site or the particular sport they catered to, so I Googled “site:springwise.com sports video coaching.” Nothing. Then I tried Springwise’s internal search engine (powered by Google), just to see if something different might come up. Still nothing.
Then I tried delicious.com/tag/springwise+sports (an even less descriptive keyword search than what I used for Google), and found the article almost instantly:
Delicious is great for finding useful resources because it can’t really produce fake or hacked results. Many people have figured out little tricks that take advantage of Google’s ranking methods, which can lead to a bunch of scammy and irrelevant results. Delicious results, however, are dictated by a collective pool of individuals, each of whom has decided that those particular sites were worthy of being bookmarked for future reference. So you can be fairly certain that any site you find that’s been saved hundreds or thousands of times on Delicious will be relevant and valuable to you.
Of course, there’s an obvious bias that comes with Delicious: the users are particularly web-savvy, and don’t represent the general population, the scientific community, etc., etc. But it’s a very minor flaw, and it’s one to be expected.
There are many other fine resources you can use for pinpointing and measuring the web’s best content (StumbleUpon, Alexa, Wikipedia, etc.), but I find Delicious to be the most efficient and consistently relevant. So try using it to supplement your Google searches. Eventually, you might find yourself (like me) using the service every day.