Ben Martin on how he has used the del.icio.us social bookmark service with his association’s volunteers to replace the traditional resource guide authoring process:
So, who writes these resource guides? Well, in my experience the links are harvested by association staff and/or volunteers, who also compose short descriptions for the sites they collect. They then write up the guides in MS Word, hand them over to a webmaster, who codes it into HTML and uploads it to the Web site. Then, the resource guide gathers dust on a static page. Perhaps it gets updated next year. Perhaps not.
Friends, there is a better way!
I agree that traditional resource guides, as traditionally authored, are inevitably stale and not too useful by the time they are published. The key to the approach that Ben describes is to trust your members to collaborate without an editorial filter. Upside: current, relevant, member-driven conent! Downside: letting go of the illusion of control. Hmm, maybe that is an upside too…