Social Bookmarking

What it is:

Social bookmarking allows you to use tags for more than just remembering.  Through social bookmarking site, you can share your own bookmarks/tags, as well as explore those of other users.

What you need:

An account on a social bookmarking site such as Delicious or AddThis.  There are also add-ons or extensions for your web browser that make tagging and social bookmarking very convenient. The Delicious Bookmarks add-on (versions for Firefox or for Internet Explorer) integrates your browser's bookmarks with your Delicious tags and synchronizes them with your online account while keeping you within the familiar paradigm of your browser's bookmarks.

How you do it:

Simply choose a term (or terms) for the thing you want to describe, and apply it using the internal or third-party application.  The tags and bookmarks will appear on the site (or in the add-on if you have installed it).  The bookmarks can be searched and shared.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Use as many tags as you need to classify something.  If you can't decide among several tags, use them all.
  • Many sites have the ability a network.  This enables you to send bookmarks to those people.
  • Most tagging features have a suggest or auto-complete function.  Use it.  This promotes consistency which improves retrieval.
  • Tag immediately.  Otherwise, you'll never be able to find that "great thing" again.

Tagging

What it is:

A tag is a piece of metadata (e.g., a keyword or term) assigned to a piece of digital information (such as an internet bookmark, image, or computer file).  Tagging is classifying content for other uses later, including "re-finding" it and sharing it.  Tagging is closely related to  social bookmarking.

What you need:

A tagging application.  These are usually free, third-party applications such as Delicious or AddThis.  Other applications have internal tagging functions.  MiddTags is an example in this website.  The photo-sharing site Flickr is another example with internal tagging.  Most blogs also have an internal tagging function.

How you do it:

Simply choose a term (or terms) for the thing you want to describe, and apply it using the internal or third-party application.  These tags will appear in a tag cloud or other search interface for retrieving tagged information.

Tips and suggestions:

  • Use as many tags as you need to classify something.  If you can't decide among several tags, use them all.
  • Most tagging features have a suggest or auto-complete function.  Use it.  This promotes consistency which improves retrieval.
  • Tag immediately.  Otherwise, you'll never be able to find that "great thing" again.