Bookmarking for Beginners
This post has been cross-posted at the Schoology guest blog. You can view it here: http://blog.schoology.com/2010/08/bookmarking-for-beginners/
Ever since I wrote a post a little while ago telling about the differences between Diigo and Delicious (read it here), I have been getting a lot of questions about social bookmarking and how to get started. If you need to know why you should use a bookmarking service, check out this post about why I like Diigo. Here is my attempt to help guide newbies just getting started with social bookmarking. As you might already know, I am an entrenched Diigo user. However, these tips are meant to be general and apply to all services. In the end, the best service is the one that works for your usage! Look for future posts about tips and tricks for using Diigo.
Step 1 – Choose a Service
In my experience, this is the hardest step because there are so many awesome resources out there. Delicious.com is probably the most popular, but there is also Diigo, SimplyBox, Connotea, Google Notebook, and countless others. Each service has a different set of features that make it a little different than the others. Take a look at the features of several, ask the advice of people you trust, take some time to experiment with different services and see what works best for you. Consider the convenience of the service, the feature set available, and organizational scheme options. Ultimately, the best service is the one that feels right to you.
Step 2 – Organize Your Bookmarks
The reason I use a service like Diigo to keep track of my bookmarks is just because of the sheer volume. I have marked well over a thousand sites, and it could be difficult to find what I am looking for. Since I have taken great care to label (tag) each of my bookmarks, I can quickly and easily find something specific that I need. Diigo also allows me to put my bookmarks into lists that contribute to my organization. This organization is an important concept because you need to be able to find your bookmarks after you save them. What works for me may not work for you – come up with a scheme that makes sense to you.
Step 3 – Use the Human-Powered Search Engine
This is more of a tip than a step – use bookmarking services as a search engine. Search Underground Railroad on Google and see if you want to sift through the millions of different hits. Search it on Diigo or Delicious, and you will find the number of resources much more manageable and the resources much more reliable. You also know that some human being has seen the site, evaluated its worth and relevance to the terms, and tagged it with the appropriate description. These sites have saved me so much time when looking for instructional materials, interactive websites, and even personal items.
Step 4 – Connect and Share
This is an optional step, but can greatly enhance your experience and broaden your exposure to new sites. The social aspect of some services allows you to see what others find and add it to your own library. Make contacts on Delicious to see what they bookmark. You can subscribe to their bookmarks to build your library. Join groups on Diigo to discover sites from people with similar interests. Share what you find with contacts you have made on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. Email interesting sites to colleagues. There are so many different ways that you can share what you have found and share the love for the good of your coworkers, students, and friends.
What is your advice for newbies? Leave your suggestions in the comments.