Organising your favourite content
7th Thing – Tagging
Last week we looked at Technorati and the blogosphere, this week we’ll spend a bit more time looking at tagging.
Tagging is an open and informal method of categorising things that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & blog posts). Tagging is designed to be both personal – you choose which tags you want to use – and collaborative – others can see the tags you’ve assigned, and can choose to follow you in using them.
[ Image by cambodia4kidsorg from Flickr ]
You may find this idea inspiring or think it is opening the door to anarchy, however, tagging is perhaps one of the defining elements of web 2.0’s user-generated content, and it’s not going to go away.
Look back on your blog posts and organise them by adding more tags. This can be as formal or as fun, as workmanlike or as personal, as you like – you decide how you want to present your information! Blog about whether you think this is order or anarchy.
Know how when you save a bookmark in the ‘Bookmarks’ menu of your browser, you have to choose a folder to put it in? And it can only go into one folder (unless you want hideous duplication)? Irritating, isn’t it …
In addition to having an excellent name (yes, that’s a real URL – the .us at the end stands for United States), Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site that lets you save bookmarks to a central location (no more copying them to multiple browsers on multiple computers) by allowing you to attach as many tags as you like to each website you save, so that you have as many access points as you want.
Here’s a video clip to introduce Del.icio.us …
How is that social?
Del.icio.us is a great way to keep tabs on websites that you or your colleagues might find useful, and it’s also excellent for seeing what sites others find valuable. Everything on Del.icio.us is there because someone has thought it’s worth saving; it can be nice having a human filter for the endless stream of web information!
[ Wordle cloud of Delicious tags from 23thingscambridge.blogspot.com ]
Now create a Del.icio.us account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list.
Is tagging a good idea? Create a blog post containing your thoughts.
You’ll be doing more with tags in some later Things, particularly Flickr.
8th Thing – LibraryThing
As a researcher you will soon build up a collection of your own books. But are they hidden away on a shelf somewhere? Or left in a box? Do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you.
Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to create an online catalogue of your own, it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes. Add a book to your catalogue by just entering the title and find other users who share your reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget to display titles that are in your catalogue.
Watch this short video which tells you about LibraryThing…
So why not create your own library online. With over 1,000,000 users and 50 million books catalogued, you’re bound to discover something new.
Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
Add a least 5 books to your library.
Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalogue. How popular were your books? Did you find any discussions about your favourites?
Here are some useful LibraryThing links:
- About LibraryThing
- LibraryThing tour
- LibraryThing blog — updates and news
- Thingology blog — “LibraryThing’s ideas blog, on the philosophy and methods of tags, libraries etc”
9th Thing – Mendeley
Cited in the Guardian as ‘most likely to change the world for the better’ in July 2010, Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network founded in 2007 in London. It combines Mendeley Desktop, a PDF and reference management application (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) with Mendeley Web, an online social network for researchers.
In the Guardian article Victor Henning, founder and director, was quoted as saying:
“What’s more, our database of research papers is doubling every 10 weeks. We’re now reaching 30m papers – we’re confident we’ll overtake the 40m papers at Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge by the end of this year.”
Here’s a video clip to introduce Mendeley…
Dr. Michael Hohl in the School of Art, Design and Architecture uses Mendeley:
What I like best about Mendeley is being able to see what other researchers are reading at the moment. It helps to keep track of trends but also get new ideas and find new connections of bodies of knowledge.
It allows me to add and manage references that I regularly refer to, such as books, newspaper articles, journal articles, web pages and even films. Managing means I can group references around a certain topic and also add notes and tags.
All of this usually takes time but there also is a ‘web importer’ button that allows to easily add an item found on the web.
Extremely helpful is also the instant conversion of citation styles which can be a tedious and time consuming business, such as manually converting from “Chicago” to “Harvard” style.
Take a look around Mendeley and create an account.
Take a look at the research papers in Mendeley by searching for your research interest and see if there are any groups out there that you might be interested in joining, or why not create your own group!
Blog about what you think to Mendeley. Did you find some interesting research? Have you made contact with any members?
You may wish to download Mendeley to your desktop, although you will need admin permissions to do this on your PC in the university. Don’t worry Mendeley works just fine from the web.
10th Thing – CiteULike
CiteULike, is a free service for managing and discovering scholarly references. It is sponsored by the publisher Springer although founded when its originator was attached to the University of Manchester in 2004.
Here’s a video clip to introduce CiteULike…
Take a look at the article, Citeulike: A Researcher’s Social Bookmarking Service, in the open access journal Ariadne.
Try searching for your research interests (or even your research!) and see what comes up.
If you like what you see, why not register and start tagging your own results? Here’s a video clip to introduce using CiteULike and RSS feeds to filter through articles quickly.
So what did you think of tagging? We realise that there is a lot to take in this week, but we hope there is something out there for you. Will you be using any of the things you discovered this week to help you organise your research? Don’t forget to blog your thoughts and tell us which method you prefer, or do you use something else?