Friday, 6 July 2007

Week 7 - Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

  1. Learn about tagging and discover a (a social bookmarking site)

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

In the past few weeks, we’ve already explored a few sites – Flicker and LibraryThing to name two --that allow users to take advantage of tagging and in week 3 many even used a common tag (UCOL) to create an association between photos that we individually uploaded. This week, in addition to exploring Technorati tagging, we want to also take at popular social bookmarking site called (typed in as is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks.

Many users find that the real power of is in the social network 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 and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  • View the 12 minute tutorial to get a good overview of its features.

  • Take a look around using the UCOL Library account that was created for this exercise. Note: In this account you will find lots of resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the course of the Learning 2.0 program.

  • Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags that they used to categorize this reference?

  • 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?

OPTIONAL: If you’re up to the challenge, create a account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. You might even want to explore’ latest addition, a network badge.

  1. Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.

So now that you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is. Well, according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, the number of blogs doubles just about every 6 months with over 51 million blogs currently being tracked by the site. If the blogging trend continues, it is estimated that Technorati will have tracked its 100 millionth blog in just 5 months.

Yes, these numbers are astounding, but as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is so easy that these publishing tools are being taken advantage of by almost every industry, including libraries.

So how does a person get their blog listed as part of the blogosphere and how can you tag your posts with keywords to make them more findable through a Technorati search? The answer to the first question is that your blog is probably already being captured by Technorati due to the fact that you're already using Blogger, the most popular blogging tool. But if you want to join the party and have your blog officially listed on Technorati and also take advantage of the watchlist and other features, you’ll need to claim your blog yourself. As for tagging posts with Technorati tags? This is easy, too. All you need to do is add a little bit of HTML code to the bottom of your post and Technorati will pick up these tags when it spiders (or web crawls) your site.

There are a lot of new features that have been added to Technorati this past summer, including new ways to search for blogs. You can search for keywords in blog posts, search for entire blog posts that have been tagged with a certain keyword, or search for blogs that have been registered and tagged as whole blogs about a certain subject (like photography or libraries).

Discovery Resources:

Technorati Tour
– videocast of new features & new look
Technorati Discover & Popular features

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look at Technorati and try doing a keyword search for “Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. Are the results different?

  2. Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?

  3. Create a blog post about your discoveries on this site.

    OPTIONAL: If you're up for a challenge, learn how to tag your posts with Technorati tags so they can join tag searches. Create a post about something. It can be anything you want and add the HTML code to the bottom to tag it as “UCOL.” You may also want to consider claiming your blog and creating a watchlist.
    NOTE: When adding HTML code, you'll want to make sure you're in Blogger's Edit HTML window.
  1. Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries and blog your thoughts.

Library 2.0 is term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services, embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades, and reworking library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (libraries).

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting. Others within the profession have asserted that libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly and welcoming. But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from libraries today.

Discovery Resources:

OCLC Next Space Newsletter – Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries?

Five Perspectives:

Wikipedia – Library 2.0
Library 2.0 Discussions (list of great references from Wikipedia)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list above.

  2. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these? Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you?

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