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#7 Tagging, folksonomies & social bookmarking

2009 August 7
by naomi

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e. Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want.

Watch this Commoncraft video on social bookmarking for audio-visual clarification.

So far in this program, we’ve already explored a few sites — Flickr and YouTube to name two — that allow users to take advantage of tagging and in methods 5 and 6 we even used a common tag (TSLAC2.0) to create an association between photos (and possibly videos) that we individually uploaded. In prior versions of this method, we used to focus on the popular social bookmarking site called Delicious (formerly known as Del.icio.us) — Delicious was a social bookmarking manager that allowed you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks. Many users found that the real power of Delicious was in its social network aspect which allowed you to see how other users had tagged similar links and also discover other websites that might have been of interest to you. It was like peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user’s filing cabinet helped to build an expansive knowledge network.

So why am I referring to Delicious in the past tense? Because it has changed ownership and undergone dramatic change as of September 2011. There are now very mixed reviews regarding Delicious — some users report that their accounts have remained relatively intact while others have reported losing nearly everything they had once saved. Many former Delicious users have migrated their bookmarks to similar bookmarking sites like Diigo and Evernote. Google Bookmarks is another popular alternative, although some users have noted that importing tags created in Delicious can be tricky.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at various resources related to social bookmarking.

Discovery Exercise: 
  1. First, be sure you have watched the Social Bookmarking in Plain English video (also linked above).
  2. Explore the WebTools4u2use Social Bookmarks page — it is chock full of great resources on social bookmarking.
  3. Explore a list of just some of the libraries out there that are using social bookmarking.
  4. Take a tour of what Diigo, one of the most popular Delicious alternatives, has to offer.
  5. Take a look at TSLAC’s Continuing Education and Consulting Staff’s Delicious page to see an example of what a Delicious page still looks like today. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?
  6. Create a “Method 7” blog post about your experience and thoughts related to social bookmarking. Can you see the potential of this tool for use by libraries/librarians? Or do you think it is just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

OPTIONAL: If you’re up to the challenge, create a Diigo account for yourself (or try using Evernote or Google Bookmarks) and explore its functions and features. Do you see a tool like this replacing your traditional browser bookmark list?

Finished learning this Two-Stepping Method? When you’re ready, move on to Method 8.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Victoria Lynn Packard permalink
    October 22, 2009

    I have been using delicious for a few months and what they say in the articles is right. You cannot bookmark enough!

    When I teach workshops I have quite a few bookmarks. I recently taught a Lincoln workshop and had 32 websites to show. Right before the presentation I found that the IT people had been into the teaching room, update the teaching computer and erased all of the bookmarks. Needless to say that was the start of my Delicious encounter. Now when that happens it’s no problem. I just call up my account and keep teaching.

  2. October 23, 2009

    I have been using Delicious for a few months and what they say in the articles is right. You can not bookmark enough!

    When I teach workshops I have quite a few bookmarks to show. I recently taught a Lincoln workshop and had 32 websites. Right before the presentation I found that the IT people had been in to update the teaching computer and erased all of the bookmarks. Needless to say that was the start of my Delicious encounter. Now when that happens it’s no problem. I just call up my account and keep teaching.

    This is a great for libraries and librarians to teach and share websites. After reading the articles I’m thinking of creating a library account with tags for copyright, formats, and other websites students will need for their work. If it is accessed often, we could add fun sites. The capabilities are endless.

  3. Demetria Williams permalink
    February 17, 2010

    Delicious sounds very interesting. I will experiment with this for 3 months.

  4. Mary permalink
    February 20, 2010

    Delicious is fun and easy and very helpful.
    Wish my blogging was as easy. Comments are easy but I think I need to review titles as everything is coming up under Method 1 and 2.

  5. Juanita Hazelton permalink
    February 28, 2010

    I’m glad to know about delicious. I plan to include it in the Internet classes I teach. I also plan to use it frequently to keep up with information I need. I signed up for LibraryThing as a personal account and when I have used it for a while will explore how I can best use it at the library.

  6. Marilyn Ponder permalink
    August 9, 2011

    Delicious social bookmarking manager is nice; this is something I would use to get myself organized. I really liked the sharing of music.

  7. Albert Chambers permalink
    August 19, 2011

    Tagging reminds me of how we used to front-feed or force-feed Google to get hidden links out where folks could find them. Our page’s metadata acted as the tags and the act of linking brought the hidden site to Google’s attention.

    I’m glad that this process is no longer necessary.

    Our TLC OPAC allows tagging, although the tags are usually added by staff rather than patrons.

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