I just read another read write web post about delicious' top search terms, and I was pretty surprised to see how other people were using the site, or trying to use it. What this says to me is that one audience is contributing, and another audience is searching. To explore this a bit more, I figured I'd talk about how I use Delicious:
Any bookmarks that don't require the content itself to be stored. If I need the content, I use Diigo to bookmark it, and Diigo also creates a bookmark in Delicious for me.
2) WebApp/Desktop App Discovery:
When I need to find an app or a website for a particular need, Delicious is one of the best filters. It usually turns up a couple of options, and those options tend to be in line with what I'm looking for, aka these are new-ish, active sites. Not old school sites with flashing .gifs. I think this is because people like me are using Delicious. Its biased towards other tech savvy users, that would be looking for the same time of application.
I find a lot of freeware utilities for windows on here, and quite a few webapps. For example, when I wanted something to track my books and media, I found lots of viable alternatives on Delicious.
In the end, I see Delicious the resource thats most like the App Store for Webapps idea outlined in my "Where the webs going" post.
3) Hot Topic Discovery:
The front page of Delicious is a lot like Digg, it always offers a handful of highly distracting links. Yet again, its as if these were chosen for me. The focus is still very technical.
A lot of times I'm viewing this top Delicious sites through an aggregator called PopURLS (which I'm obsessed with), and when viewed next to all these other sites, Delicious is overwhelmingly techy. More in the slashdot camp, than say in the digg camp.
4) Tech Support Resource:
Given that so many people with the same technical interests as me use the site, its not a stretch to see that they would have the same tech support issues as me. Whenever I'm looking for a new way to get Wordpress to do something, or I'm trying to setup some advanced functionality in Quicksilver, I can rest assured that someone has bookmarked the solution on Delicious.
So for me, Delicious IS powerful because of its technical focus, and the top 10 search results finding seems to support this somewhat in the sense that people are not bookmarking your typical web interests. Why so many people are knocking on the front door with these search terms is unclear. I've always been afraid that Delicious would loose its power as it went mainstream, but maybe the bookmarking barrier is proving to be high enough to preven the masses from cluttering the site with their mainstream interests? While searching has no barrier to entry, so it reflects a wider audience?