Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Social Bookmarking: with del.icio.us

I just finished writing a post to explain to participants of the evo2006 ELT Podcasting group why we have decided to use del.icio.us, and realised that it was probably worth sharing with people here too:



Its use is not as obvious at first, but I find del.icio.us to be such a useful tool. I am going to try here to attempt to write a tailor-made explanation of why we're using this site:



1) Basically, the best way to approach it at first is as an online bookmarks/favourites space. Sign up for an account and you can store all your favourite links here instead of them being tied to your own computer (this is especially useful if you work in different places, or use several different computers)



2) But, this is only part of the story of why this site is so good. It's called 'social bookmarking' software and that gives us a clue to its real strength, especially for educators:



- Del.icio.us uses tags (key words). Saving links with a unique tag (podcasting_elt, for example) means you can share a body of links with a specific group of people.



3) Del.icio.us is perfect for finding out what the latest 'hot' links are - search on a specific tag (try 'podcasting', for example) and you'll find it works as search engine, the difference being that all of the results were selected by (usually savvy) Web users. Once again, perfect for keeping abreast of what's really new on the Web, without having to wade through irrelevant sites picked up by Search Site bots.



4) Finally, del.icio.us offers a way of people not only reading what you are writing, but also what you are reading. Stick a link to your del.icio.us account on your website or weblog, and people can see the interesting things you come across. Do this on a site aimed at students, with a unique tag and you have an easy way of providing them with up-to-date content relevant to their needs.



5) The easiest way to keep track of our http://del.icio.us/tag/podcasting_elt
links is to add the RSS feed of this into a newsreader (also known as an aggregator). This will let you keep track of everything without having to constantly revisit the site to find out what's new. If you don't have an aggregator, try http://www.bloglines.com, which is an online aggregator/news reader.



6) Make things really easy and download a del.icio.us toolbar to your browser : http://del.icio.us/toolbar/ (this is for the Firefox browser)


4 comments:

  1. Hi Graham!
    Great explanation.Two little things that have just crossed my mind:
    a)remember we have a presentation at BaW next Monday evening on Blogging and Podcasting (drop me a line)
    b)Rudolf has also given a great presentation on delicious
    you may want to refer people to.

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  2. Hi Graham, Do you remember us choosing Furl last year in the EVO WebBlog course? Now, I've come to the conclusion that Del-icio-us is better and I'd like to find an easy way of moving all my docs from one to the other in one fell swoop. Do you know of any easy way to do that?

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  3. Great comment Bee - I've pointed people to that resource now in our Moodle.

    Hi Lesley, I do remember it, and I set up an account with Furl, actually using it more than del.icio.us at first. However, I too, started to prefer del.icio.us, and now I post a lot to del.icio.us and don't use furl.

    I have been meaning to go back to Furl, though - it's a great way of making a copy of an entire document in case the URL changes or someone decides to remove the aritcle, etc from the Web. Take newspapers, for example, which regularly upgrade their content. You'd end up loding the article forever in del.icio.us (I think)

    Anyway, to answer your question, I'm afdriad I don't know. You could try searching Google for an answer as I'm sure you're not the first person who's decided to try and do this.

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  4. I've found the contraints of one page to provide an interesting challenge in making me think really carefully about how to communicate the essence of each tool. Sue Waters post on 'hitting the bulls eye' has really helped me in thinking about ways to escape my general propensity to want to write in depth on everything.On it's way fairly soon should be one page on NetVibes, and one page on Blogging… all feedback is, of course, welcome.
    -----------------------------
    margret

    social bookmarking

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