Archive for the ‘Tagging’ Category


As of this moment, that’s how many links I’ve tagged on del.icio.us. Do you suppose that’s a little extreme? Is there a support group for del.icio.us addicts?


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Social bookmarking

I’m a rabid fan of del.icio.us.  I just can’t seem to help myself.  In the past few years I’ve collected thousands of links at the site.   Looking at the tags I imagine you can learn more about me than you’d care to.  For example, you can see that I’m interested in elearning (a no-brainer) but also that I had a passing interest in Esperanto when a friend suggested a while ago that we try learning something that we knew nothing about and maybe even write notes to each other in Esperanto during meetings. 

If you’ve heard about social bookmarking but don’t know why you should be interested or where you’d start, Lee Lefever is coming to the rescue with another of his fantastic & simple introductions to common web 2.0 tools.  The latest is about social bookmarking. 

Through the Common Craft show, Lee offers a quick way to understand the why’s and how’s of getting started with some of the sites we’re using on a daily basis to share, collaborate and create.  I find I’m starting to look forward to each episode with the same anticipation I once had for the latest episode of Survivor.  (Do you think there’s a connection?)

One more thing … if this video  has sparked an interest in social bookmarking and you want to go further, check out Jon Udell’s wonderful 5-minute screencast on using del.icio.us.

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Participants tagged themselves at the OCLC Conference in Seattle this year.

OCLC tagging

But even better, they took all the tags & made a tag cloud. Nice idea, huh?

a tag cloud for the people participating in a symposium

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A name tag ordinarily just has your name & maybe a title. What if a tag had … well, tags? At last year’s BarCamp, that’s what happened. Wouldn’t that be an interesting way to start the term with learners?

So how would you tag yourself?

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web 2.0 tag cloud

Does it all seem too complicated? Want to take a few baby steps into the world of Web 2.0? It’s not as hard as you think. Remeber that Web 2.0 tools are ones that let you create, share and collaborate online. You’ll find that little communities spring up around common interests on these sites.

Here are a few easy tools for you to try. Like most Web 2.0 tools, they’re free and easy to learn and use. You don’t need to download anything. You don’t need to have skills beyond what you’d use to send an email attachment. Give it a try.

The best way to learn is to do. Good luck & remember to share what you learn.

(Web2.0 – extended mindcloudmap, courtesy of Markus Angermeier http://www.flickr.com/photos/78726435@N00/62381076)

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Why tagging is good

One of the hardest things to do online is find what you’re looking for. Believe it or not, people are the best information finders, not computers, & technology that leverages word of mouth — technologies like del.icio.us, Technorati and even Google — have been wildly successful. The first two work through tags (or a word that labels a particular item), whether it’s a word that you use to tag a link or a blog post. The key word here is you. You and people like you do the tagging.

Sometimes you can learn a great deal about something just by looking at the tags people apply to it. Just take a look at how Amazon readers tagged K-Fed’s album to get a sense of how people view this talented guy. 🙂 Looking at a tag cloud for US Presidential speeches can give you a lot of insight into what’s important to particular presidents at particular points in history. (Drag the slider and follow the word “constitution”, for example.)

You don’t necessarily have to agree with others about the words you’re using to tag something (although you might make your info very difficult to find if you tagged your favourite Lord of the Rings site with some elfish slang — unless that’s the convention of other LOTR’s fans).

What are the implications for learning? Well, finding and sharing information is a huge part of learning. If you’re a facilitator, teaching learners how to tag may be tops on the list of important online learning skills, and del.icio.us or a similar site is a good, easy place to start. Furthermore, for those of us who rely on technology to work with groups of people, whether face to face or at a distance, agreeing on a few simple tags for the information you’re collecting can make it so much easier to coordinate your work. For instance, our NSCC Second Life group tags flickr photos, del.icio.us links and blog posts with “nsccsecondlife”.

Want to learn more about tagging? A good place to start is at Wikipedia’s article on tags or this CNET article on tagging, and once you’re a power user, check out sites like Ulises Mejias’ Tag Literacy or Slack Manager’s Several Habits of Wildly Successful del.icio.us Users.

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