Thing #17

Tagging and social bookmarking with Delicious

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures, and 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 any way they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored one site – Flickr --that allows users to take advantage of tagging and we use Diigo in class as a tool to share or Web sites of the Day. For this thing, we want to take a look at how tagging enables people to share their favorite web sites with others by using a social bookmarking site.

There are several social bookmarking sites available (for example Diigo), but one of the most popular and widely-known is called Delicious. Delicious allows you to bookmark a web page and then add tags to categorize your bookmarks. Many users, however, find that the real power of Delicious is in the social networking aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links. It also allows you to discover websites on topics that interest you that other people have found. You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Delicious and a couple of other social bookmarking sites to see how this tool could be used in your school.

Discovery Resources
1. Start your exploration of social bookmarking by watching this video by the Common Craft guys.

2. Watch the Delicious tutorial
3. Check out Digg and StumbleUpon - two other social bookmarking sites.
4. Watch a Digg tutorial here.
5. There's a StumbleUpon tutorial also.

Discovery Exercise

1. Review the resources above to get a good overview of social bookmarking - especially the Delicious tutorial.

2. Join Delicious

3. Type in the tag "educational technology" in the search box. Explore the results 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 they used to categorize this reference?

4. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool in the classroom? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? How can teachers take advantage of social bookmarking sites?

Image by cambodia4kidsorg,