Recommendations based on your personal tastes are the holy grail for many services on the web. Yahoo-owned social bookmarking service Del.icio.us has been one of the most compelling opportunities for recommendation technology but to date that opportunity has been missed. The troubled in-house recommendation feature at Del.icio.us hasn't been replaced and 3rd party services have had a very hard time meeting the scaling challenge.

Enter InSuggest for Bookmarks -now offering bookmark recommendations based on your Del.icio.us archive. The recommendations come so fast that it's hard to imagine they are good ones, but after some testing they look quite good to us.

How to Use it

InSuggest for bookmarks is very simple. You enter your Del.ico.us username, it looks at your archive of bookmarks and then recommends other similar pages you might like to bookmark. You can filter by one or multiple tags you've used. Up to 20 tag filter options are provided but you can enter any tag you've used in your account.

You can run anyone's Del.icio.us username through InSuggest and get recommendations, not just your own.

The interface is very nice, it's one of the best uses of Ma.gnolia's Thumbshot.org that I've seen yet, and the whole thing feels fairly smooth. In fact, it almost feels too smooth. The recommendations come to you very, very quickly. No where on the site, or in response to our email inquiry so far, can we find an explanation of how it works.

Despite that, it does seem to work well. There are a limited number of ways to parse Del.ico.us data, though, and we wouldn't be surprised if there's just a touch of caching going on. It's hard to say, but the end result is good. InSuggest developer Dennis Gustafsson was elected "Engineering Hero" by The Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers last year, according to search blog Pandia. So someone's seen behind Gustafsson's work and liked it.

Continued below.

Our Recommendations

Beyond some clarity around process and perhaps basic instructions on use, there are a few other things we'd like to see from InSuggest. The first is a feed for future recommendations. The display is in Javascript so we haven't been able to scrape it yet. We'd also love to see a Greasemonkey script for displaying InSuggest recommendations on top of the Del.icio.us bookmarking popup, archive page and item pages.

Other features that would be nice would be the option to input a Ma.gnolia username instead of just del.icio.us, tooltips to display full item titles that are too long for the basic display and the ability to exclude particular domains from future recommendations. Some sort of user feedback to inform recommendations should be doable.

Finally, the biggest fish in the pond when it comes to Del.icio.us recommendations is user recommendations, not just item level ones. We'd like to see other users be recommended, ideally with those who tend to find items of interest earliest privileged on the list.

That may be too much to ask for, though. It's hard to say. Feeds and user recommendations are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving, though, and are far more compelling than one-off recommendations.

For now, though, we think InSuggest for bookmarks is worth checking out. You could very well discover some things there that are just the kind of thing you've been looking for.