So you are having fun – the world of pixels is opening up and your exploratory mind is working overtime with the abundance of new search engines growing everyday. But how to manage this dearth of information?
Up till now you have been satisfied with the bookmarking feature of your browser (ctrl + d), the static nature of its confines and the unwieldy nature therein. I beg you to contemplate expanding your collating framework and endure the malleable mind of a pragmatist.
There are an exponentially increasing number of ways to follow, tag, talk, poke, nudge and communicate with a person in the virtual world. My favorite visuospatial demonstration is the Conversation Prism by Brian Solis. The expanded flickr image gives a great representation of the articulation of social media facets in 2D mapping
Having trialled an extensive number of bookmarking/site-sharing services I would like to share the final groups of services I now utilize to structure and relate my browsing experiences. These simple and free tagging systems will enhance the functionality and effectiveness of your bookmarking, saving, sharing and reference collating.
With a plethora of bookmarking and tagging domains online it can be difficult to know where and how to start. I have slowly developed a routine for collating, highlighting and annotating results from skipping through the pixelated universe and it is thanks in part to the combinational collation tactics of StumbleUpon.com, Delicious.com and Diigo.com.
Filled with fervent desire I see you eagerly scroll to bookmarking nirvana…but STOP – are you ready?
Now is not the time to be hasty – now is the time to apply some thought and reason. If you are really ready to embark on the voyage of web discovery then it is important to review your current – and future web presence – your online identity. Remember that the user name/screen name/avatar that you create will (hopefully) be with you wherever you go. Networking contacts, friends and fellow bloggers alike will be instantly recognize who you are…it also helps to remember all those passwords!
…and with screen name, avatar and password in hand…we walk on
First cab off the rank is Delicious. The ultimate tagging machine with great network facilitation and now with a brand new look and feel. Initially took a bit of getting used to, but now find it a strong mainstay in the bookmarking arena.
What are the benefits of Delicious?
- Simple, clean and effective
- Great toolbar buttons
- Great functionality
- Minimal skill set required to tag
- Great sharing facility
- Effective place to start tagging
What do I do now?
- Import Bookmarks
- During registration you will have the option to import all of your bookmarks.
- This is a useful starting point and confers the opportunity to weed out those poorly bookmarked sites and re-rationalize your bookmarking experience
- Create a simple and easy to remember ‘baseline’ tag structure
- Very easy to just tag randomly with words that come flying into your head – but stop, think and try to spatially compartmentalize your tags
- Don’t panic
- The search function in the bookmark sidebar does a lot of the work for you – you can search for words within the title of the bookmark as well as the tags !
- You can still create ‘uber’ tags within Delicious to create large and think about
The toolbar is fantastic. Nice and neat and crisp. Essentially there are three buttons. The Delicious symbol takes you to your Delicious homepage,the TAG button allows you to tag and the ‘bookmark button’ will open your sidebar with the Delicious bookmarks
So you are ready to start tagging. Whilst you are browsing you will come across a page to bookmark. Instead of saving to your bookmark toolbar – you now click the tag button and a screen like the one above appears. Simply title your tag, add ‘space’ separated tags for the page, and save…
For a full tour of all the options go to the Firefox tour on Delicious
- Find some friends to add to your network – you can then share tags
- Keep bookmarked pages private
- Simply check the ‘do not share’ button and you are done
For the really advanced user – consider using delicious for doctoral research tagging…
Most of my blogs are ‘old news’ to the web-hungry masses; the nocturnal surfers and the pixel-rich bon vivants – but for many these pages are filled with wonder, trepidation and regret…I digress
StumbleUpon is effectively a social bookmarking site and one of the best ways to
- Discover new websites, photos, videos on the web (Stumbling or reviewing ‘what’s new’)
- Tag, and visually archive your favorite sites/pages/videos
- Share your discoveries with people with similar interests all round the world
- Review the helpful video overview of StumbleUpon
- Join StumbleUpon
- Download the toolbar (Internet Explorer or Firefox)
- Find your friends already online either by the email locator or directly via their StumbleUpon Name (sandnsurf) or URL e.g. http://sandnsurf.stumbleupon.com/
- Update your profile with the ‘Preferences’ tab to edit your personal information, Interests and Public Profile. Change your color scheme, add an interesting photo and links to your blog or webpage
- Start Stumbling (click the SU icon on the left of the toolbar) – If you like a website or webpage you’re looking at, simply press the “Thumbs Up” button; if you don’t like it, “Thumbs Down”.
- Your friends have the option of sending you pages they really like and you will be notified with an inbox message as shown above. By clicking on this icon the ‘shared’ page will appear for your viewing and ‘thumbing’ pleasure
- What’s new is a great place to review the latest webpages archived and reviewed by your StumbleUpon friends
- Favorites displays all the webpages you have reviewed, discovered or posted to your blog and can be displayed as a grid or list
- Friends and Fans. When you visit the site of a stumbler who shares a similar taste you can add that Stumbler as a ‘friend’ this makes you a ‘fan’ of this stumbler. Your visit is recorded so that your fellow Stumbler can return the favor by visiting your site, adding you as a friend and that makes you ‘mutual friends’
- Tag your favorite pages with meaningful tags to help others find your Stumbled pages
- Make Friends. Share webpages and spread the word – 5,9000,000 other Stumblers can’t be wrong.
- Use StumbleUpon daily to archive your favorite pages for later retrieval; to stumble your friends favorites and make it a habit to use the ‘thumbs up/thumbs’ down toolbar options
- Read Some great reviews such as by MrGadgetOz on tips for using StumbleUpon or try an ode to StumbleUpon .
- You never know – with persistence you could be as happy as Shana Albert!
The interactivity of reading, tagging, storing and sharing is enhanced by reactive platforms and intuitive programming – the new V3 Diigo brings us one step closer to coalescence.
Reading becomes social when information, knowledge and community come together. I find the ability to highlight text and annotate with sticky notes retains contextualization that is often lost with ‘clipping’ and iteration with group research becomes a high yield and rewarding task.
Connect, discover and share:
- Bookmarking is enhanced with highlights and sticky notes – which are retained on the page waiting for your imminent return
- Bookmarks and annotations can be organized by tags or lists
- Create groups to pool resources for specific projects with private or public bookmarks. I find this a great way to pool resources whilst researching for a project with colleagues. The group administrator can define a set of recommended tags for the group to help enforce tagging consistency.
- Access and search your bookmarks anywhere, by tags or by full-text
- Find the most popular bookmarks on any subject. It is often the easiest way to find quality resources on a given subject – more efficient than search engines – in the right hands
- Sharing content is an great way to learn from your friends. Diigo provides multiple ways to aggregate and share information with friends on Diigo and elsewhere, with varying degrees of non-intrusiveness.
- The sidebar search tool has been enhanced to facilitate searching within tags, lists and URLs
Overall a lot of new enhancements.
I continue to use a combined approach with Diigo.com being the first tagging point for annotation, highlighting and primary bookmarking. These tags are automatically uploaded to my delicious account where I prefer the group keyword searching. Specific posts or sites to share with more diodotic colleagues is through my StumbleUpon account (Ratio 1:1:5)
Short How-To Series:
Be sure to download the Diigo Toolbar and explore the options to post directly to your blog, export bookmarks to delicious and magnolia and utilize the enhanced Linkrolls. Some great tips for Diigo use are found on this great post from MakeUseOf.com