saudixpat’s Weblog

October 6, 2008

Social Bookmarking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Expat in Saudi @ 12:56 pm

Social bookmarking, while something I had heard of, wasn’t something I used. With Favorites already on board, why would I want anything else? Then I took my Web 2.0 course. Very cool. However, it forced me to get out and look at different Web 2.0 tools, features, and networks. This week is Social Bookmarking week. I have since visited a variety of sites, gone on a journey down the trailfire and looked at what others had to say. The Frequently Answered Questions blog gave examples of students working in teams to bookmark resource sites. Based on that and other sites, I began to make connections.

I began with a few questions (as I always do). 1. Why is social bookmarking relevent to me? 2. What are some examples that show this relevence? 3. Which tool or tools is THE best to use? I ended up, after doing all this, musing about complacency, the status quo, and the power of routine.

The first thing I asked was, “What makes this relevent to me? Why should it be relevent?” I mean, after all, I have my bookmarks in Favorites that allow me to track sites and get back to them easily if need be. Openlearn.co.uk’s page asks questions about the benefits of social bookmarking and gives us a list of Social Bookmarking sites, some which obviously didn’t take off, like Hyperlinkomatic and Frassle, which shut down in 2006 because, as it’s developer, Shimon Rura said in his blog, Where Frassle Went Wrong, and How to Make a Zillion Dollars Doing it Right, “…overall, the core problem with frassle is [it tried] to do too many things…integrat[ing] blog publishing, aggregators, republishing, and semantic correlation.” Interesting to see the cast offs and then the successes: Blinklist; Furl (more about that later); del.icio.us; and Spurl. Quite honestly, though, most of the sites trumpeting the benefits of using social bookmarking were linked to generating more cash flow for your business, blog or website.

Then I looked at what others had to say about keeping organized in a Web 2.0 environment. The conversations about del.icio.us and diigo were very interesting, as was the trailfire article on Cool Tools: the Best of Social Bookmarking. Frequently Answered Questions gave some more specifics. From it, I could see working with, say, an Aboriginal Education class and using del.icio.us or Diigo or FURL, I could have students bookmark creation myths from aboriginal cultures around the world and use that as a starting point to pick out common beliefs that have shaped aboriginal viewpoints from the beginning. So to sum it up, social bookmarking can be used as a research and collation tool to bring together a wide range of sources on common topics.

This is where the tags came in. I hadn’t really thought about the value of tags even though I am really good with Google boolean searches and search terms. What I discovered in a very good article on using social bookmarks as a class tool is that you should decide the purpose and choose your tags. When students go on the net seeking resources to tag, there should be a common set of tags that make things clearly identifiable as to which class they are for and what purpose they can be used for.

In finding out why they would be relevent to me (and I will be using these with my Flat Classroom Project students as a way of organizing their research) I also answered my question about examples. Although I searched on TeacherTube and YouTube, I didn’t find any video explaining or demonstrating projects using social bookmarking. However, I did come across a video showing me how to add social bookmarking buttons to the bottom of my blog on wordpress!

This brings me to my third and final question, “Which tool or tools is the best to use?” I began my social bookmarking career using del.icio.us. It looked cool, had the biggest number of users and tags that I could see, and allowed you to custom tag and share your tags with others. It is accessible from any computer with web access, so is supremely portable. Then I read others postings about Diigo. You could set up a private class account easily. Diigo has a special education deal which you can access after creating your own account. You can highlight text on webpages and sites which other diigo users can see. Diigo also sounds like it might be the tool to use. Why did I create that del.icio.us account?,

Finally, on the trailfire, I read about Furl. It seemed even better as I could use it to archive websites I visited; something that del.icio.us and diigo cannot do. So I went over to furl, checked it out, installed the Furl It! No-Pop bar to my IE and tried it out. I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally, I timed out. I went to another site and got the same result. As internet speed here in Saudia is not the fastest, I sadly came to the conclusion that FURL is not going to work, even though I want it to.

So which one is best? This is where my musings on complacency and inertia come in. I was happy using Favorites to store the list of my favorite websites. Now that I have learned about del.icio.us, signed up and used it, I am happy with it. At this point, I am not using diigo, even though I have my account up and ready. With my sites and tags stored on del.icio.us, complacency sets in. As for FURL, when I leave Saudia, I will use FURL, as websites have been known to come and go and having FURL can save trouble. But del.icio.us – last night I used it to store tags related to yearbook design and caption writing. Now, when I reformat my hard drive or get a new drive as I did two weeks ago, I can simply reinstall my del.icio.us bar and have instant access again, by tag. Sweet! How del.icio.us it is for me!

But. But….when my students begin their Flat Classroom Project next week, I will have them sign up for the class diigo and research their group topics there. I will also see if we can’t create a global diigo group so that al 17 school’s students will be compiling on diigo and more importantly, perhaps, highlighting the relevent text information for others to see. How powerful that will be! So, for the nonce, del.icio.us. For the future, diigo.

Thanks for reading! Now, look at the bottom of the post. If the YouTube video was correct, you will see some del.icio.us and other bookmarking links down there! Here is the video if you want to do the same for your wordpress blog.

 

add to del.icio.usDigg itStumble It!Add to Blinkslistadd to furladd to ma.gnoliaadd to simpyseed the vineTailRank

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6 Comments »

  1. thought you may be interested to know that Diigo does cache webpages as furl. ( and since pages are cached, you may search the full-text of bookmarks.

    Comment by wade — October 6, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  2. Bruce,
    I’m glad you took a look at Diigo because I didn’t get there this week. It sounds like it might be worth looking into.

    I didn’t have any trouble working with Furl like you did. Everything downloaded super easy although my computer didn’t want me to put the tool on the taskbar because it said it was infected. Not good.

    Thanks for adding the video about adding social bookmarking icons to wordpress. I’m going to try it and I’ll be coming back to you for help if it doesn’t work!! I’ve already learned that I can add html text under the regular text by watching the video. I didn’t know I could do that.

    Thanks, Jo-Anne

    Comment by Jo-Anne — October 7, 2008 @ 4:49 am | Reply

  3. Bruce,

    I did it!!! It took me awhile and I kept having to go back to the video but I’ve got the social bookmarking icons on the bottom of my post. Yeah!!!

    Thank you, thank you!

    Jo-Anne

    Comment by jagibson19 — October 7, 2008 @ 5:32 am | Reply

  4. Thank you Wade. I wasn’t aware of that, and while I was signing up on diigo I didn’t notice that feature highlighted. My apologies. It makes diigo that much more intresting to me now 🙂

    Jo-Anne, conga rats as we say in our MMORPG. It’s neat when you can follow the directions and it works eh? What I hate is when you follow and follow and never make it!

    Looking forward to visiting your blog and reading your thoughts (and seeing your links at the bottom of your post!)

    Comment by sibertiger — October 7, 2008 @ 6:28 am | Reply

  5. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks for your interesting comparison between the various social networking sites that are available. It’s too bad that FURL doesn’t seem to be available for you–it sounds like it would have some features that would be useful for you. I’ll be interested in hearing more about how you use diigo or delicious with your students for your flat classroom project.

    Joanne

    Comment by Joanne de Groot — October 8, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Reply

  6. Thanks for this nice post and adding the helpful video for adding social bookmarking icons to WP.

    Comment by Personal Chef New York — December 11, 2009 @ 3:54 pm | Reply


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