Thing 10: Tagging and Delicious

Tagging is a way to categorize items, like your bookmarks, Web pages, pictures, and posts. More flexible than folders, you make up tags when you need them and you can use as many as you like. The result is a way to organize your bookmarks or blog posts or other things you want to label.

Unlike traditional library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (e.g., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and free form, allowing users to create connections between data in any way they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored one site--Flickr--that allows users to take advantage of tagging. You may have tagged some of your own photos as part of that Thing. Searching tags in Flickr or another site that allows tagging lets you find other items with those same tags.

Do some tagging:
1. You can tag (Blogger calls them labels) your Blogger posts with keywords or phrases. From the Dashboard, go to Manage Posts and choose the post you want to add tags to. Enter the words in the “Labels for this post:” box in the lower right. Type in your tags (commas between each word or phase). Click Publish Post to re-publish the post with its labels (tags) to your blog.

In addition to tagging, this Thing looks at the popular social bookmarking site Delicious. Delicious is a social bookmarking manager that allows you to bookmark a Web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks. Tags can be used in Delicious to organize your bookmarks--and let others know what you have bookmarked. Learn about tagging on Delicious.

Delicious lets you access your bookmarks from any computer--just log into your account and there they are. This is a great timesaver if you need to find a site, but can't remember its name. If you tag your Delicious bookmarks, you can search on the tags. For students, Delicious helps them use bookmarks in their research. The bookmarks are available at any computer they use in the library, the lab, or at home.

Many users find that the real power of Delicious is its social networking piece. You can see how other users have tagged similar links. Following their links lets you discover other Web sites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ file folders, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's folders helps to build an expansive knowledge network.

For this Thing, take a look at Delicious and learn more about this popular bookmarking tool. Continue with these activities:

2. Watch “Social Bookmarking in Plain English” from the Common Craft Show.

3. Take a look around Delicious using the NEFLIN23things account that has the resources used to create 23 Things @ NEFLIN. Here you will find links to the resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the 23 Things @ NEFLIN program. You can keep up-to-date with what’s added by subscribing to the RSS feed.

4. Explore the site options 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?

5. Create a Delicious account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. You might even want to explore Delicious’ latest addition, a network badge.

Note: A quick word about the Delicious Buttons. On PCs that have the toolbars locked down, these will install as options in your browser bookmarks. Use the “Post to my Delicious” link to add the current webpage to your account (you may need to log in). Use the “My Delicious” link to view your online account.

Blog Prompts
  • Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool.
  • Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?
  • How can your library or media center take advantage of tagging and delicious? Look at the sites in the Resource list above to see how libraries are using Delicious.
Challenge (optional)
  1. Explore Furl, another social bookmarking site that lets you organize your bookmarks. Compare its features with Delicious.
  2. Pagekeeper is a similar service aimed at teachers--it is an ad-free site that lets you create a list of Web sites for student access. Try the bookmarking features of Pagekeeper and compare them to delicious and/or Furl. Pagekeeper is maintained by Teaching Matters, a non-profit that promotes technology integration in education.


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