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Monday, August 9, 2010

Do you bookmark?

A couple posts in Inside Higher Ed about Delicious.com got me thinking... I have a Delicious account but I almost never use it. I never really 'got' social bookmarking - it just has never seemed all that useful to me. From a personal standpoint, if there are websites that I use a lot, I bookmark them in Firefox so I can just go to the address bar and start typing what I remember of the page's title and it will show up in the pull-down menu (for example, when I need to access the SDSU homepage, I just go to the address box, start typing 'SDSU' and the homepage is the first thing in the suggested links box that pops up). If there are websites with information that I think I'll want later, I might save them to Delicious but even if I do, I have to go searching for them later and really, it often seems easier to simply Google whatever I'm looking for. I'm sure this is just a reflection of the way my memory works but if, for example, I come across a recipe or a 'how-to' tip that I think is useful but I'm not doing to use right away, I know I could save it to my Delicious account and tag it but then when I do want to find it again, I still have to a) remember that I ever saw it in the first place and b) remember how I tagged it, or else simply search ALL my bookmarks anyway, in which case it seems just as easy to use Google, which will either come up with the original site or something else equally, if not more, useful.

BUT I've been thinking about the fact that one of the good and bad things about prepping this data class is that I'm constantly reading articles that would make great examples for this class (this is good because I've got plenty of material; this is bad because at some point, I have to stop adding material and just live with what I've got!). I was thinking about setting up a Facebook page for the class so I could easily post links throughout the semester but it also occurred to me that I would want to keep track of those links somewhere else, in case I want to use those as examples in future classes (though I still have the problem of having to remember that it's there!). One good option would be saving those links on a social bookmarking site, tagging them with the course number, and then simply use the RSS feed for that tag to have those links automatically show up on the Facebook page.

In addition, the first comment on the Inside Higher Ed article is from someone who points out that Diigo.com 'leaves Delicious in the dust' and that Diigo has features tailored for academics. So I checked it out and am definitely intrigued. It seems that the big benefit of Diigo over Delicious, for the purpose of classes, is you can highlight and annotate webpages in Diigo and then share a link to your annotated page. So I could highlight the parts of an article that I want students to focus on and add comments or questions for them to think about, connecting it to what we are doing in class.

Do you use social bookmarking, for classes or in general? Any advice or suggestions for specific sites and uses?


  1. I started using Delicious as a way to have my students share links with each other. I showed them how to open accounts and tag pages, and I asked them to use a particular tag associated with our course. Then I embedded the RSS feed for that tag on the course blog. Worked like a charm.

    That experience led me to start using Delicious for my own bookmarking. It's the great tagging features that won me over. It's not so much about remembering that one site from way back when--you're right, it's easier to just Google for it than remember what it was called. It's more about having someone ask me if I knew of any good resources on say, having students use laptops during class. I can then check my Delicious bookmarks under the tag "laptops" and see what's caught my eye on that topic recently.

    I guess I use Delicious more for keeping track of sites I *don't* remember than for sites I *do* remember.

  2. Thanks Derek, that makes sense. Like a lot of things, I think that once you make a habit of it, bookmarking seems like it could really useful. I just have to figure out how to make a habit of it...


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