Thing #13: Learn about tagging and discover Delicious (a social bookmarking site)

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike traditional library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (e.g., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data in any way they want.

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored one site – Flickr - that allows users to take advantage of tagging and some of you even used a common tag to create an association between photos that we individually uploaded.
Why social bookmarking? Well, have you checked your list of favorites or bookmarks on your internet browser lately? If you’re like me, your favorites list may need some pruning or organization. Or, if you don’t happen to be on your regular computer, how do you even remember all the sites you’ve bookmarked?


Delicious is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks.

Many users find that real power of Delicious is in the social networking aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Delicous and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

More About Tags and Delicious

If you save an article about how to make a certain kind of cake, you can tag it with recipes sweets yogurt or whatever other tags you might use to find it again. You don't have to rely on the designer of a system to provide you with a category for French cake recipes. You make up tags as you need them, and use the tags that make the most sense to you.
This is great for organizing and finding personal data, but it goes even further when someone else posts related content using the same tags. You begin building a collaborative repository of related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization.
For instance, to view everybody's bookmarks about sweets, visit To see the most popular items tagged as sweets, visit

If you don't get it right away, that's OK -- you don't have to. Tagging is pretty intuitive and can take some practice to fully understand. Try it and experiment a bit! There are no wrong tags.

How do I tag?

When saving or editing a bookmark, there is a field for tags. In this field, enter as many tags as you would like, each separated by a space. You may notice lists of tags underneath this form. Popular tags are what other people have tagged this page as, and recommended tags are a combination of tags you have already used and tags that other people have used. You are under no obligation to use these! They are only there to help you. What tags or words would help you remember this page a few years from now? That's a good place to start. Learn more about saving bookmarks.

Some examples of tagging

You can use tags describing an article or website's subject, location, name, category, people, places, ideas -- pretty much anything you can think of. The more tags the better! (Well, most people use from one or two up to five or six tags for an item.)

The only limitation on tags is that they must not include spaces. So if your web page is about a two-word place like "San Francisco", you may want to tag it as sf, san-francisco, SanFrancisco, san.francisco, or whatever else makes sense to you. You probably don't want to use commas, though, since a comma will be become part of the tag.
You can also use tags to describe metadata about the bookmark. For example, you can use asterisks to rate bookmarks. So a tag of * might mean an OK link, *** is pretty good, and a bookmark tagged ***** is awesome. You can tag something "toread", or "via:friend". Items that you want can be tagged "wishlist", and links that might not be safe to visit at work can be tagged nsfw.

A tag can be anything you want.

Here's a neat place to start exploring tags: a cloud of frequently-used tags on delicious.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Delicious and a couple of other social bookmarking sites to see how this tool could be used in your school.

1. Start your exploration of social bookmarking by watching this Delicious video (direct link) by the Common Craft guys. Here is the video on YouTube, just in case you can't see it at Common Craft.

3. Check out Digg, Diigo and Top 30 Social Bookmarking Sites.

Discovery Exercise
1. Review the resources above to get a good overview of social bookmarking.
2. Take a look around Delicious using key words /tags that fit your professiona (and perosnal needs)
3. See if you can figure out how to share your delicious site with others (students).
4. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? How can libraries or classroom teachers take advantage of social bookmarking sites?

[Note: Please remember to include THING#  and title in your post headings.]

1 comment:

ACavazos said...

Thing #13: Learn about tagging and discover Delicious (a social bookmarking site) I have had a Delicious account for over a year now,and the tagging certainly helps me find what I need. Tagging also helps others get to your information if they type in the word which will connect to your information.