A post earlier this week on social bookmarking garnered the kind of comments that make me feel like it’s the edublogosphere of 2005. Talk about retro! Thanks to all.

One thing that I have realized is that there are different goals in bookmarking…

  • Personal organizing of bookmarks. Almost any tool mentioned and more would work, it’s just a matter of making it happen. I definitely am intrigued by D’Arcy’s use of Scuttle which he puts to great use. My own use of pinboard on its own serves me well. And anyone who does diigo, delicious for their own links can say it works well.
  • Collaborative Sharing for Groups But what Antonio (and I) are interested in is something where the students work in a shared space where they can contribute to a collection of “best” links. This can be done in diigo (that seems what groups do well there), and from what D’Arcy said, one could create students accounts in Scuttle. I would say delicious (if reliable) and pinboard would do it through shared tags.
  • Wide Open Social Bookmarking The original allure of del.icio.us (this is the pre-Yahoo preferred spelling) is that this could be crowdsourced, that people outside could add to the value of your tag by participating. Antonio really wants this; I’m a bit more meh as I do not see a lot of people taking it on. But I am not opposed to it. This narrows the field a lot since diigo does not allows aggregating of tags across all users. You do get this in pinboard, but the stop block there will always be the fact that its a paid service.

Then there is another dimension- some people like the visual approach of say a Scoop.it while others want the minimalist text interface.

Antonio and I continue to have lunch and back and forth discussions about what to use for our students. And I start to wonder where the value is for students, especially if we go with a tool not really viable for them outside of class (like a custom Google forms/spreadsheet thing, or the WordPress / old school del.icio.us theme I played with).

To me the most important outcome would helping students develop some familiarity and habit in maintaining and organizing their own link collections. But also, I have a sense when you do pure aggregation of everything tagged, you get… a huge pile of links, many duplicates. We should be collecting AND curating.

And then I wonder about this oft heard desire for a recommendation for “Best Tool for X” (hence the horse and ribbons, one of Best in Internet for Bookmarking). There are so many “it depends” that it’s not worth it. The best tool is the one that works best for you.

So I suggested another idea to Antonio- maybe we do not dictate a tool, maybe we have them try a spectrum of tools, and then they can build something at then end that might compare their use of different tools.

It’s an idea, but might be too much to ask?

And I have somewhat of a selfish interest to try out the subreddit idea as a way of collecting the “better” links, and use its up-voting, commenting to hone that collection.

And then another idea (I tossed about 20 of ’em at Antonio in one hour of lunch talk). The students are already blogging on wordpress.com blogs that we are syndicating into the course site.

Why not have the students do regular blog post summaries of the best links they come across in their weekly readings, explorations? With a common tag, we would aggregate into the course site as a stream of links (or blog posts about maybe five links). This would make the task more than just slapping a link in a form or bookmarking it, but writing a 1-2 sentence synopsis of why it was chosen.

And then (yet one more idea) — rather than students putting their own selections of “best” links into the class subreddit– what if the curation task was to nominate and add links suggested by other students? It gets them reading each other’s blogs, and making a value judgement based on what a fellow student recommended.

Once with a body of suggested links in a subreddit, the voting could surface the “best” stuff.

I’d still like to have students know of, and try some of the different bookmarking tools, but not force them to use the one I like. Give them some gathering experience and curating, and then they can develop their own strategy and tool set.

Because my best ribbon may not be yours.

(This is just thinking out loud)

Top / Featured Image: I was looking in google images (of course filtered by licensed for reuse) for an image of a prize ribbon, most were clip art. Then I saw some animal photos, and thought of “best in show”, but that got a bunch of bare chested men (I do not want to know), but adding “best of show ribbon” garnered this photo of a pony from a Wikipedia article.

The horse does not look thrilled but the ribbons are nice.

Image by Confuslefu at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1790583

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. I tried to get students to join Diigo & created groups for them (with an educators acccount – which was free at the time); the idea was that they would add bookmarks to the group list – but they weren’t that keen; not sure why, really, as they were happy to use Google+ to share links and talk about them, so it’s not as if they didn’t want to share their findings with others.
    I used the list to share things with them; maybe that was the problem, I filled it too much and they didn’t want to join in.

  2. Sorry not to see the bare chested men.
    Pearltrees.com connects and links keywords is a way I find useful and satisfying, but I gave up on this concept for students except to expose them to the concept of social bookmarking. Now I put them on EasyBib, which is a multi-featured tool. They can share with me or other students as well as link to other bibs on their topic, and there’s an end on it.

  3. OK, just bookmarked this post in Diigo 🙂

    I like the concept of “adding value” to links by providing a paragraph or two of comment and context. A good model for this is what Stephen Downes does with the OL Daily (http://www.downes.ca/news/about_old.htm). So in his posts you get the link and possible some excerpts, but then also his own take about why the item is relevant. I am going to start trying to do something like that on a regular basis in my own blogging for faculty at Austin College.

    Hoping that, during this retro and reclaim spree that you’re on, we’ll get you’re latest take on RSS…Am currently using Feedly, but of course it could go the way of Reader at any time. Gotta find the stuff before you can bookmark it 🙂

    1. I like Feedly a lot; although I use Digg Reader for my own consumption. I typically will import an OPML bundle of student blogs (and feeds for the comments) in to Feedly when i run a class. I think Feedly works great for reading.

      Losing a feed reader is not much of a loss for me, as long as I have a backup of my subscription files. It seems like, from people who have reclaimed, that TinyRSS is a nice self hosted solution.

      RSS is maybe my most vital technology for staying informed; I know people claim they rely on twitter, that their network signals whats important, but I do not see it working that way for me.

      I am an RSS junkie. I got hooked by Stephen’s classic RSS in Education paper in ?? 2002 and it inspired a lot of my work. I made this RSS to Javascript tool in like 2002 and it still works http://feed2js.org not bad for a dead/forgotten/old technology!

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