Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tag, You're It, Folks -- Or, What Does Social Bookmarking Say About Me?

I've reached #13 in the 23 Things training, which focuses on tagging, folksonomies, and social bookmarking in Del.icio.us.

A couple of years ago I co-presented a workshop that focused on cutting-edge Web 2.0 services. Del.icio.us was one of the selections. I set up an account at that time, but I didn't get hooked. Why not? I know people who swear by Del.icio.us. I have three computers that I regularly use, two of which have three browsers that I alternate between using. I NEED a central location for my bookmarks!

My aging brain cells always falter for a beat as I attempt to get the periods in Del.icio.us typed in the right places. I'm not sure I want to share my bookmarks and see how many other people have bookmarked the sites that interest me. Should something as basic as bookmarking be a popularity contest? Do I want to take the time to tag every bookmark? Will I remember the tags? In the past, social bookmarking has seemed more complex than simply bookmarking sites in my browser and tossing them into folders.

The link to "Several Habits of wildly successful Del.icio.us users" that's included on our Discovery Resources list isn't working. In searching Slackermanager.com for the article, I found a glowing review for Diigo and signed up for an account. As has been the case with several of the other items I've explored during this training, I think I might have found a resource that's more up-to-date and fully featured.

Diigo has no awkward periods to parse. Diigo can suck up my bookmarks from some of the browsers I use. I can highlight sections of a web page and add comments about them on sticky notes. I can forward individual bookmarks with my highlighted sections to others.

I have added a Diigolet button on my bookmark bar on all but one of my browsers. (There's also a Diigo toolbar, but I'm reluctant to give up real estate in my browser.) Diigo will allow me to export its bookmarks into my Del.icio.us, Furl, etc. accounts without any fuss. I can keep selected bookmarks private or add private comments to my public bookmarks -- this is perfect for stashing account information! I'm going to give Diigo a try.

Quick asides: I understand that folksonomies reflect diversity of thought and make searching easier. The chaos of a folksonomy is its strength! Yes, searchers won't find everything -- as they might using a controlled vocabulary. But who wants to find everything these days?

I really like tag clouds on sites and use them as discovery tools.

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