Week 7 Reading Response: Social Bookmarking, Tagging, Folksonomies
As always, Wikipedia, was a great place to start understanding Social Bookmarking. I always find the external links section of the Wikipedia articles to be quite useful. In addition to Hamond’s “Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review”, that was on our reading list, you find links to icekin’s Sn’B site which provides an article on searching for the ideal social bookmarking service, a list of social bookmarking resources and a link to the “7 Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking” article, along with some others all of which are worthwhile reads. Back to our class readings for this week, I really enjoyed Hollenback’s article “Even tastier del.icio.us”, which lead me to finally check out extisp.icio.us. Extisp.icio.uw, allows you to sign in with your del.icio.us user name and it displays a “random textual scattering” of your tags, which are sized according to how frequently you use them. The link provided above provides a dual window for extisp.icio.us and extisp.icio.us images. The latter displays a random Yahoo image search of all your tags and displays a collage. Both are quite fun and worth the 2 seconds to generate.
Almost all of the articles, when dealing with tagging, said the same thing, we tag for ourselves and if someone else can benefit from it that’s great, but we tag for ourselves first and are not restricted by structured classification. I think I liked the way Porter’s article put this: “The one major idea behind the Del.icio.us Lesson is that personal value precedes network value. What this means is that if we are to build networks of value, then each person on the network needs to find value for themselves before they can contribute value to the network. In the case of Del.icio.us, people find value saving their personal bookmarks first and foremost. All other usage is secondary.”
Once again it was great great timing for this weeks topic. Over the weekend I actually had a few minutes to sit down and read September’s issue of Information Outlook (SLA’s membership publication) and it the “Websites Worth a Click” section it listed Librarything.com as an interesting site for book geeks. I’ve heard it in passing, seen the link here or there but I never really took the time to sit down and play with it. Well, I am glad I finally did this weekend as it was quite neat. It allows you to “catalogue” all the books on your shelf, tag them and share them with the Librarything communities, etc. You can write your own review and rate the book using the 5 star system. It’s neat because you search the book title and retrieve the information form Library of Congress or Amazon, and I believe you can select the source where you book information comes from. I haven’t given it all the time I’d like but I did get a chance to purpose the discussion groups and read a few reviews and it was quite fun. I thought it was rather appropriate considering all the talk of the Amazon reviews lately, and the fact that this week we are talking about tagging. However, going back to tagging for yourself, I realized, as I was tagging the books from my self for my new Librarything account, how personal some of my tags were. Some were straight forward and likely used/useful for others like “Historical Fiction” but for personal use I tagged it with my name, my fiancé’s name, or both. The only reason for doing this is to see who’s read what, so really it serves no purpose for anyone else except for us. I loved the freedom to do that! While I respect the necessity for structured classification I truly appreciate the freedom of personalized individual tagging.
I also I really like del.icio.us for this reason, freedom. When I am able to tag articles, etc. according to my own needs, I am more likely to find them again. I’m no opposed to using the “suggested tags” that del.icio.us provides so that the articles I’m tagging are useful to others, but the ability to give a random tag that for some may be completely unrelated is quite useful. As you’ve all probably noticed when I’m tagging articles with the “lis757” tag you will often see “BMO” as a tag, which allows me to kill two birds with one stone when the articles I’m finding are relevant to the course as well as work. This saves me so much time when I don’t have to sift back through the “lis757” articles I saved just to find the ones that were relevant to work. I now have a few of my colleagues using del.icio.us and it is making collaborative research significantly more doable. A few of them that I have hooked were still using the archaic method of printing an article and circulating from desk to desk, or forwarding the link to everyone via email. Further, many of us spend time at various locations, by using del.icio.us I can get the articles from anywhere (with an internet connection of course) whereas before I was stuck if the links were only saved in my browser’s “favorites”. I can’t tell you how many times this happened to me when working from home. I knew I had an article saved but I couldn’t use it until I was at work next unless I wanted to search for it again, because it was stuck on my office computer. Knowing from experience the difference using a tool like del.icio.us can make in terms of distributed research, I see this utility becoming more and more necessary and valuable for distance education. After using it for this course, I can’t say there is much I don’t like about it, however, I do that I might miss something someone has added if I don’t intuitively know the “right tag” to search. So far I think I’ve done okay, but because it is open ended user tagging, there is no way to know for sure right?
Entry filed under: LIS 757 Weekly Reading Comments.