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 Del.icio.us (typed in as http://del.icio.us). Del.icio.us 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 Del.icio.us to organize your bookmarks--and let others know what you have bookmarked. Learn about tagging on Del.icio.us.
Del.icio.us 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 Del.icio.us bookmarks, you can search on the tags. For students, Del.icio.us 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 Del.icio.us 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 Del.icio.us and learn more about this popular bookmarking tool. Continue with these activities:
2. View the 8 minute Del.icio.us tutorial to get a good overview of its features.
3. Take a look around Del.icio.us using the Minn23 account that has the resources used to create 23 Things On a Stick. 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 Del.icio.us account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list.
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 del.icio.us? Look at the sites in the Resource list above to see how libraries are using Del.icio.us.
1. Explore Furl, another social bookmarking site that lets you organize your bookmarks. Compare its features with Del.icio.us.
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 del.icio.us and/or Furl. Pagekeeper is maintained by Teaching Matters, a non-profit that promotes technology integration in education.