Social bookmarking

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Fun with meta-tagging (?)(!)

Do you find that your Web browser's bookmark collection is dense, loaded with mystery entries, and mostly unused? "Social bookmarking tools" such as Diigo and del.icio.us store your bookmarks online in a searchable personal archive that allows you to retrieve your resources from any computer with an Internet connection. Adding a new link can be done with as little as two clicks of the mouse.

Why are they called “social bookmarks” ?

On first glance, it's not obvious what really makes these services so promising. It’s the social dimension. Both services publish each user’s collections of links publicly (unless an item is specified as private), and allows you to subscribe to others’ collections. Both Diigo and del.icio.us publish an ongoing list of active and most popular resources which serve as an indispensable snapshot of what’s hot on the Web. Perhaps most interesting are the built-in recommender systems: for instance, when you “Diigo” an item, your saved entry links to others who have liked that resource, and also searches across their collections to recommend related sites that are also likely to be of interest -- much like the way Amazon builds its own recommendations.

del.icio.us

The oddly named del.icio.us is an online web site bookmark service with an interesting twist: when you add sites to your collection, you can include descriptive keyword "tags"-- the social aspect comes in to play. You can link to all of the del.icio.us users who have tagged sites with the same keywords, e.g. learning objects

Or some other ones to explore:

You can also subscribe to others' items. The cumulative effect becomes something like Friend of a friend URL searching.

More Info

Tony Hammond, et al Social Bookmarking Tools (I) - from D-Lib. " number of such utilities are presented here, together with an emergent new class of tools that caters more to the academic communities and that stores not only user-supplied tags, but also structured citation metadata terms wherever it is possible to glean this information from service providers. This provision of rich, structured metadata means that the user is provided with an accurate third-party identification of a document, which could be used to retrieve that document, but is also free to search on user-supplied terms so that documents of interest (or rather, references to documents) can be made discoverable and aggregated with other similar descriptions either recorded by the user or by other users.

Adam Mather, Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata - "The apparatus and tools built around professional cataloging systems are generally too complicated for anyone without specialized training and knowledge. A second approach is for metadata to be created by authors. The movement towards creator described documents was heralded by SGML, the WWW, and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. There are problems with this approach as well - often due to inadequate or inaccurate description, or outright deception. This paper examines a third approach: user-?created metadata, where users of the documents and media create metadata for their own individual use that is also shared throughout a community.

Jon Udell, Collaborative Knowledge Gardening - "Abandoning taxonomy is the first ingredient of success. These systems just use bags of keywords that draw from — and extend — a flat namespace. In other words, you tag an item with a list of existing and/or new keywords. Of course, that idea’s been around for decades, so what’s special about Flickr and del.icio.us? Sometimes a difference in degree becomes a difference in kind. The degree to which these systems bind the assignment of tags to their use — in a tight feedback loop — is that kind of difference."

Del.icio.us is already inspiring complementary hacks out in the wider community, expanding the dimensions of this service.