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Social Bookmarking Soulmates at WRT: Writer Response Theory



Social Bookmarking Soulmates


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Over the past few years, WRT has occasionally addressed the use of new writing technologies in the composition classroom (several posts: 1, 2, 3 and Christy’s list of Games and Pedagogy). Needless to say, these lessons might also fit a multimedia literacy course or even a social media course. This post offers an exercise in investigating the role of social bookmarking tools, such as Diigo (previously discussed wrt “Marginalia”) and del.icio.us in contemporary online research.

Social Bookmarking Soulmates
an exercise in academic social networking:

Video Follows:


The basic premise:Using one of the social bookmarking sites, find someone who shares your interests. Add them to your network and profile them on your blog.

The easiest way is to search on a social bookmarking site (Diigo, del.icio.us, or one of the others) for someone who bookmarks similar topics.Alternative way to find your bookmarking soulmate: (featured in the video)

  1. Bookmark a page that you think might be more specific to your research interests: example, bookmarking the OT Digest rather than the Center for Disease Control.
  2. Go to your del.icio.us page
  3. See who else has bookmarked that page.
  4. See what kinds of pages they’ve tagged.

Resources used:

Diigo, del.icio.us, Google (do I need to link to Google?)

The reflective analysis:

I use this assignment as a means to have students network with another researcher, but it is also a useful moment to reflect on bookmarking and tagging practices.

In a short post on their blogs, I have them comment on their Social Bookmarking Soulmates’:

  • Topics of interest: hint, look at their tags via tag clouds.
  • Bookmarking practices:
  • how thorough are they (do they add comments)
  • how many pages have they bookmarked (roughly)
  • Tags: How well organized are their tags?
  • Gems: Any great link resources they have

During the assignment, students are at first skeptical that they will find anyone with similar interest. Usually it is not till they find a “Gem,” or exciting link, through someone else’s tags that they see the value in the exercise. More importantly, the assignment hammers home the ways in which social bookmarking can help them become part of a network of scholars, collaborating albeit indirectly at times.
After a few weeks of my stressing the importance of effective tagging and annotation, however, students are often a bit disappointed with the disorder they see in the tags of others. I remind them, “That’s right. Stay off the streets. It’s two clicks from chaos out there.”

How to integrate Diigo with Del.icio.us

Too married to del.icio.us to use a new service? Diigo lets you send all your new bookmarks to multiple locations, including del.icio.us.

  • First, sign up for del.icio.us and Diigo accounts
  • Install the Diigo Toolbar
  • Then, click the Hammer on your Diigo toolbar.
  • Select the “Bookmark and Highlight” tab
  • At the bottom, check the box next to del.icio.us and enter your username.

Now when ever you bookmark a page with Diigo, your bookmark will also be saved to your del.icio.us account.

[Side note: I am a big fan of Diigo and del.ico.us: Diigo for annotation, del.icio.us for its userbase. No doubt, however, this assignment could be replicated with many of the services, particularly ones that encourage elaborate user profiles.]



1 Response to “Social Bookmarking Soulmates”

  1. 1 Val

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    Take a look at http://www.entopica.com/, a new online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks online.Its free to join and registration is both quick and easy. Discover a whole new world of social bookmarking.

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