Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tags, Delicious, Technorati and Library Thing

I decided to go back and do this lesson even though I had started when that week was skipped. I thought it would be good to know this information too.

The last article in the list, Several Habits of wildly successful users summed up the basic practical use of for a lot of people. It allows you to organize and access your bookmarks from any computer any where. It also helped me just by comparing the organization of tags to Gmail's use of "labels" instead of folders, though honestly, I still use the labels in a similar fashion to how I used folders in my email accounts in the past. Unfortunately, I was only able to read the first paragraph before receiving an error message and the article closed. I will try at home.

Tagging is using keywords to mark links, items, photos etc. on the Internet. A Folksonomy is an open tagging of bookmarks that can be combined and shared with other users. uses this open tagging to create social bookmarking which allows you to find good material on a topic, then share your findings with other people.

After watching the pod cast, I learned that to use that you have to create an account then install it to your personal tool bar. This makes sense after learning how it works, but eliminates it's practical use on public computers. As a registered user you can now post items directly from your browser while doing topic searches to your account. This means you are also replacing the old form of saving web sites by bookmarking on your computer. The pod cast gave good examples of using this for research and to organize your RSS feeds. I found it interesting that in web 2.0 terminology "reading list" not only means a list of items, books, websites etc., to read but also listing RSS feeds to read. The creator of the pod cast also cautioned about posting information before checking out the copyright.

How this becomes a shared list: Once you tag an URL you can then view "all" or "popular" sites that have been given the same tag by other people. This could lead you to information you wouldn't have found in your search or at least not as quickly. will then also show you how many people have tagged that site or RSS with the same tag and the user names of those people. You can check out other things each person has tagged as well. Over time you'll find people with similar interest/tastes/level of scholarship. This is sort of similar to our library patrons using the staff recommendations to find new titles or authors to read. Her example of a shared reading list was the alal2. To make a shared reading list first create a unique tag then have everyone in the group post their findings to the shared tag. This method of tagging lets you filter the massive amount of information now available on the web and you can have some confidence of filtering with authority.

If/when I'm ready to set-up a account then the Useful article will be a nice step-by-step explanation of which options to choose and why. But until then it really didn't do a good job of explaining why to use exempt that it's the new thing in the academic world.

After checking out MRRL's account I have to agree with postings on the lesson from other staff members that it's not as easy to use as the pod cast implied. Finding related articles was somewhat easy, but checking out different tags and different users was a multi-step process and I wasn't able to duplicate my results by doing the same steps with my second search. I will admit here to being very linear in my thinking and this would appeal more to someone who prefers a spatial arrangement. It appeared cluttered to me, which I had get past to use it. This and some of the new search engines really do remind me of trying to follow a professor's lecture when he goes of on one tangent followed by another and another only sometimes ending up coming back to the point by the end of class. This meandering or circular thinking can lead to quality results that would not be found in the traditional way and may spark a whole new topic for research, which is great if you are a grad student looking for a research project, or an original angle on a topic but not so great if you just need the information. So for a fact finding search, it would be quite annoying. However, I realize this is a personal preference and for the sake of the patrons and to keep up with how things may be arranged in the future, I'm willing to give it another try.

Technorati is a filter for blogs but it does appear to have a bit of the "popularity" contest kind of filter. It shows what's new and hot and being searched for the most right now. For example Anna Nicole Smith is near the top of the list this week. This might be relevant for teen librarians to keep up with the "in thing" or for those ordering music and videos. Searching Technorati in different ways yielding vastly different results. Search for "Web 2.0" in blog posts it found 2,553 blogs, but using tags it only found 183 and searching the blog directory found only 71 blogs. Checking out the popular section of technorati also found videos and movie clips. I thought it was interesting the variety of videos out of the 8 featured: One on Bill Gates Vs. Steve Jobs right next to Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch and a Web 2.0 video too.

Library Thing: The following is my first thoughts after doing the tour of this site online: Okay, I'm confused. Why would I want to catalog my personal library "online" for the world to see? That's why it's called personal. Isn't privacy the whole reason ALA is fighting against the government or anyone else being able to see a patron's checkout record? So, our library reading lists are private but our collection of titles at home is shared online. This just doesn't make sense to me. There are lots of reader's advisories out there to find ideas of other authors and titles to read without having to give out personal information.

Part Two: I revisited this sight today, knowing I was in a snarky mood the first day I went to Library Thing and after re-reading the About Library Thing information. I 'm still not interested in having my personal library viewable by everybody but today I did find a private setting which would allow me to catalog my books, but not have them available for everyone to see. I think I may have to pay something to get the privacy setting though. I also like that to set up an account you don't have to give out any personal information at all. Here's a link to the catalog I set-up today using books from the Osage County Collection.

1 comment:

Robin said...

LibraryThing is one of those things that you either love or just can't see the use of. I don't see much use in it because I don't have the space to save enough books to make it really useful for me - unless I went through and added books as I was reading them just to get the reader's advisory feature, it isn't my cup of tea. That's ok, though - we aren't all going to love every tool that comes down the pike!, on the other hand, I adore! It is still usable on public computers, though not as easily - you'd have to log in and post URLs by hand, but it can be done. I use it to keep track of all the articles I want to read, but don't have time to look at right then. I'm also using it to create reading lists for future classes for you all! I don't use the social aspects as much as others. I rarely click on tags to see who else is saving stuff that I'm interested in, but as you said - it would be quite helpful in a research project to see what others are reading about my topic. was chosen because it was first on the scene and is used pretty heavily. Another one, Magnolia, is newer, much prettier and may appeal to you more. It seems less cluttered to me!