I’ve found much resonance in this observation someone (I cannot remember who) shared with me — “Your mobile phone area code indicated where you lived in 2008”. It sounds odd until you recall what your own number is.
Likewise, I think, you can gauge someone’s early web experience is (the kind that was Web 2.0 before it was called Web 2.0) by uttering one adjective…. “delicious”.
In conversations this week with Antonio Vantaggiato about things we want his INF115 class to do we’ve been seeking ways to build a shared reference collection as students begin their web exploration. This of course is the original idea of del.icio.us (the pre-Yahoo eff-over era) of social bookmarking… that we could with one click store and organize web URLs and be able to share or combine them across domains by simple tags.
It’s one of those brilliant ideas that still make tons of sense yet never really caught on beyond the people who can get compulsive about tagging.
So I have been going back to the idea maybe not in just seeking a tool, but to revisit the idea. The “remembering” and organizing of bookmarks seems not to be of high importance to most people, when back of the mind they might say, “Why bother when I can just google it?”
That, to me, misses the point. If you can remember enough to search for it, then that means you have some amount of grand recall in your head. Like quick, tell me, anyone, what web page you were thinking was important in your work in say, April 2013? (Not off top of my head, but I have it organized here). Or what about a group of readings, resources about remix? What do you have, Google it? (I got mine).
It’s easy to find what you don’t remember when you remember what it is you do not remember. But social bookmarking was more about just being a lookup service, it was about having versatile ways to organize and reorganize, and share, and re-share web resources.
So here is what we have been pondering, the big challenge is that very few services allow you to track a tag across multiple persons accounts (e.g. the social side)
- The New Old Delicious http://delicious.com/. I gave up on it a while ago, Antonio has been trying, but as he reports, the system wide tags are inconsistent. It’s not even clear who or what keeps the lights on. It has the old functionality, you can compound tags, but… feels shaky.
- diigo http://diigo.com is what Antonio uses now, and he has an IFTTT recipe that also posts to delicious. I have this meh relationship with diigo- it is viable, and there is a lot you can do there. It seems to have so many feature, that one gets lost in there. There is also no way to see what is being tagged sitewide with a common tag, to get this functionality, you have to use groups, and there is another level of things to remember when sharing. There is a lot to like about diigo, and I do not criticize the way people use it, but it feels like a giant 128 pience multitool when all I want to do is slice some cheese.
- pinboard http://pinboard.in I’m a big fan since moving all my old bookmarks and new activity to pinboard. It’s reliable, I can have my own tag stream for sites tagged creative commons and see what the use of that same tag is across pinboard users. And I can set up compound tags for my own bookmarks and again, the compound tags across the base of pinboard users. Everything has an RSS feed. The search works great. And its minimal, no fancy window dressing or extraneous features. The main downside? You have to pay for an account. And maybe that it does not have a kazillion users.
- Google Form we talked about setting up a google form that would then put all the bookmarks in a spreadsheet (we could reformat, make it searchable, use its RSS feed). But how much do you like typing in forms? I did some digging around and can see some ways to build a bookmarklet tool that could shorten the task of adding. We could have a field of tags, maybe. The downside is losing the factor of having content form from people beyond the class. And what is value to students later of using custom one off system.
- Weird Idea — subreddit http://reddit.com/ I am advocating this partly so I can get some more in depth experience in reddit. The idea here is to have a class subreddit for sharing links, and use the upvoting for surfacing “better” links, and maybe the comments for discussions? I set one up for our course to do some experiments with. But I did not find anything that made adding to it beyond using the in page form. So I dabbled some yesterday with building a subreddit bookmarklet tool (thinking it would be useful to have one to post to any subreddit) (I anxiously await someone telling me where one is already built, I did look!).
The thing with reddit is that there is no notes or description field, it’s just title and link. So in mine, if you select some text on a page before bookmarking, it appends it to the title of the page being bookmarked (the tool is crude, partly finished, and yes, has a typo on the page). Yet reddit has no tagging system for links. We discussed maybe an IFTTT recipe to send back to a spreadsheet (?) the most recommended links? This is wild speculation, For my own learning, selfishly, I’d like to play with reddit.
- Old School Delicious in WordPress I did know of (and have a pinboard bookmark) for Stephanie Leary’s Twenty Links WordPress Theme (I think I met her at a Phoenix Wordcamp). Okay, it’s a child theme of Twenty Ten and her own version of it is 404 (old freshness date), but seemed worth a little bit of experimentation. I installed it on one my my dev sites http://show.cogdog.casa/delicious/
I already had to do some customizing of the code and the style to bring it to this point. I like the way tags work each with an RSS feed. I have not tried the mods for the Quick post, that is next. But I can see this going as a class collection, with each student an author (?)
Like I said, a pile of ideas to try out here. Maybe it’s a dream? Likely someone will say, why don;t you just use FizzleShchlitz and I can learn something new.
What I have learned is making the bookmarklet building tools and running them from github… that’s another post as I have been reworking another old browser tool to work there. more on that later.
Darn, since I have gotten to Puerto Rico, I have waxed nostalgically on gopher, went down memory lane with Mr Kotter, and now am trying to build social web technologies popular more than ten years ago.
I think I should go to the beach.
Top / Featured Image: Found by searching compfight on “bookmark” easily landing me flickr photo by found_drama http://flickr.com/photos/found_drama/2058127104 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license