I first learned about the social networking concept of “tagging” over a year ago and life hasn’t been the same since! Do you remember the days when we had to bookmark our web sites within our web browser and every time we worked on another computer — at work or at home, we had to recreate those bookmarks all over again? If we wanted to bookmark sites for our library patrons we had to bookmark them, then copy them to a network drive then paste them on every public computer. Perhaps you’re still doing so. If you are, stop! Now, your bookmarks can go wherever you go!
The online class I’m taking, Learning 2.0 @ MCR/PSR, has a great unit on del-icio.us — a wonderful tool. The definition of tagging is taken from the course. “Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (web pages, pictures & posts). A tag is just a keyword or term, and tagging is the process of assigning or associating them to something. Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e., MeSH or Library of Congress Subject Headings), tagging is non-hierarchical, unstructured and free form, allowing users to create connections between data anyway they want.”
Perhaps one of the hardest things for a librarian, is being “informal” and “categorizing” freely. The idea is to create your own tool for organizing information that is usable any time, any where. Another great aspect of this process is that you can create your own shared environment – one which is open to your co-workers, other colleagues and strangers who may be looking for just the web site you found — amazing!
It has been fun learning about del.icio.us, a social bookmarking manager, used to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize my bookmarks. To date I have 318 bookmarks with 420 tags — amazing what this has done for my productivity.
Here is a Tag Cloud in del.icio.us for tags I have used more than 5+ times .
Our instruction, with this class, talks about the real power of del.icio.us is the social network created — one where thousands participate. The possibilities of one’s own del.icio.us account are unlimited. The possibilities of the social network aspect, utilizing the tagged links of others, opens up a whole new learning experience – talk about improved productivity.
I recommend two short video resources which you will instruct you about social bookmarking and del.icio.us. The first is a three minute video called “Social Bookmarking in Plain English”. An eight minute video, by the Otter Group, is a good resource about del.icio.us, including information about an excellent Help section.
- Social Bookmarking in Plain English” (3:25) (from Common Craft)
- “Learning 2.0 and del.icio.us” tutorial (produced by the Otter Group)
Here is my assignment for the class — “create a blog post about your exploration of del.icio.us and include your thoughts about this application”. I have found great personal benefit and opportunities to incorporate that experience into the practical daily work. My old browser bookmarks and favorites lists are “history”. Here are other resources which may be of interest to you. .
- Other social bookmarking sites to explore: http://www.linkedin.com/ and http://ma.gnolia.com/
- Visit SlideShare, the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. Users Tag presentations.
Come explore the possibilities with me. Learning is great fun!