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Lazy Sheep

If you don’t already use bookmarklets, or an RSS reader, then the last few paragraphs of this post will be difficult to decipher, so I’ll start with some background: is a tagged bookmarking service (with a clever, hard-to-spell, and now much mimicked URL) that makes it easy to share bookmarks among multiple computers, group them according to tags, and find similar sites being bookmarked by other people. I use mainly to make it easy to share bookmarks between the three or four computers I use frequently, but it serves other purposes as well.

The bookmarks I add to appear on a public page, that I access frequently. That page has an RSS feed which I’ve added to the menu on most of my browsers. But other people can read it too.

I monitor an RSS feed of the most popular links on, which can be found at This is an excellent way of keeping a pulse on the Internet. Many useful sites will show up in this list well before they appear in the handful of blogs I monitor.

Like most del.ic.ious users, I keep a bookmarklet on my Firefox toolbar which makes it easy to add new sites to my collection. If I’m on a site I want to remember, I click the bookmarklet, and voila, a pop-up form appears that allows me to describe and tag it.

Often when you add a page to, it has already been added by other people. Nonetheless, you still have to manually add the obvious tags, even though other people have already done the work of tagging the page many times. It makes sense that this behavior would eventually be harnessed to make even easier to use.

Today, Lazy Sheep appeared on the page, and it’s popularity is rising quickly. The service creates a custom bookmarklet that adds new links to your collection, and automatically annotates them with the tags created by others. This makes adding new links to much more painless.

It also raises some interesting questions. Lazy Sheep has the potential to significantly reduce the diversity of tags in, if a lot of people start using it. If the first few folks to tag a site use misspellings in their tags, Lazy Sheep will cause those misspellings to propagate. Will this script ultimately reduce the utility of the service it was designed to improve? We’ll see, but for now, I’m a happy sheep.

UPDATE: This feature hasn’t proved to be as convenient as I had originally hoped, mainly due to some problems with the implementation. It would probably be better to auto-fill the tag field in a pop-up, rather than silently adding the link with no feedback. New links added with Lazy Sheep automatically get a “todescribe” tag. Check out delicious’s todescribe tag to see all the unedited links produced by lazy sheep.

One Response to “Lazy Sheep”

  1. fembot Says:

    This lazy-bot hasn’t even downloaded because of the daunting tagging job ahead. Thanks for sharing this; it looks more delicious now.