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Tagging and Social Bookmarking

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 1 month ago

Introduction to Tagging and Social Bookmarking


The Internet is like an enormous filing cabinet, overflowing with data, photos, papers, videotapes, audio, etc. Each website you visit is like a folder in that filing cabinet. Each individual page, video, photo, etc. that you visit is like a specific document in that file. If someone asked you to find a specific piece of information in that filing cabinet, you'd probably cry--how can you POSSIBLY make sense of it all?


Social bookmarking and tagging are two ways that you can find the information you need in your filing cabinet. They also help you find the best information.


Social Bookmarking

If you've used a web browser like Internet Explorer, you've most likely used a bookmark to identify the websites you want to visit again.


Those bookmarks are maintained on your personal computer in a folder that you can access only if you're using your computer. So if you're at the library or on the road without your computer, then you're out of luck.


Also, you're generally the only person who's adding to your bookmarks, so if you haven't found a site, then it's not going to be in your bookmarks.


Another problem with traditional bookmarking is that you're not always sure what folder you want to put your bookmarks into. A lot of times a particular page or website could fit into more than one folder.


Social bookmarking does three things for you:


  1. It puts all of your bookmarks online at a website that you can access from any computer with Internet access.
  2. It lets you categorize your bookmarks using keywords called "tags" (more on that in a second). You can use as many keywords for each bookmarked page as you want, so that a page can be "filed" in more than one folder in your filing cabinet. This lets you more easily find particular files.
  3. You can see how many other people have also bookmarked a site and see what other sites on the same topic they may have bookmarked. This lets you find new resources more quickly, because presumably the more people who've bookmarked the site, the more valuable the resource.


It is possible for you to keep bookmarks private, for those who are concerned about someone having a complete picture of their websurfing habits.


The most popular social bookmarking site is de.liciou.us. Other popular sites include ma.gnolia, furl and diigo.


If you plan to use de.licio.us, try their Guide to Getting Started first.


To learn more about Social Bookmarking, try this article. Or check out the de.licio.us tools collection



Learning to Use De.licio.us and Social Bookmarking Sites



Probably the best resource for developing an initial understanding of social bookmarking is Beth Kanter's video tutorial. While you're there, be sure to read through all of the other resources Beth includes.


Ray Sims--Introduction to De.licio.us


Ray Sims--Day-to-Day use of De.licio.us


Top 10 Ways to Use De.licio.us


8 Tips for Better Del.icio.us Bookmarking



Tags are keywords or labels that allow you to categorize your content on the Internet, either through a social bookmarking site or on a blog. You can use tags to identify web sites, videos, audios, and content in blogs.


With tags, you can quickly and easily find information that is relevant to a particular topical area. They also allow you to organize information in ways that make sense to you, making it easier for to later retrieve that information.


When using social bookmarking sites, using the same tags that other people are using lets you search by keyword to find other resources you may be missing.


For more information on tagging, try these articles:


Thirteen Tips for Effective Tagging


Tips for Tidying Tags


Turning Information into Knowledge with Tags


How Can Nonprofits Use Social Bookmarks and Tagging?


  • Nonprofits can sign up for their own account at de.licio.us and develop a common set of tags to be used by everyone in the organization. When employees find a valuable resource, they can tag the site, entering it into the organization's bookmarks. This makes it accessible to all employees of the organization.


  • Voter Voices at e-Democracy is a project that collects information on the 2006 Minnesota elections through voters who tag articles, videos, etc. they've found across the web. The use of tags allows this information that's gathered by thousands of individuals to be gathered in a single location.


  • Tags and bookmarks can be used to organize information for a grant proposal. This is particularly useful if more than one nonprofit is developing the proposal.


  • You can also use bookmarks to gather resources for a conference or event.



To learn more about using de.licio.us, try this article on the habits of successful social bookmarkers.


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