Thing 13 - Social Bookmarking and Tagging

Social bookmarking is a system for saving a website so you can return to it later. Instead of saving “bookmarks” or “favorites” on a single computer, you save them to a web site accessible from any computer. And instead of organizing bookmarks into a subject folder, you can assign them multiple labels (tags) so they can be associated with a number of topics. Your bookmarks can be shared publicly or you can save them as private - viewable by only you. Social bookmarking is also powerful in that you can search what others have found useful. There are a number of social bookmarking sites. We'll be using one called Delicious (formerly called del.icio.us).

To complete Thing 13 you must:
A. Learn how social bookmarking works
Understand tagging
C. Reflect on Thing 13 on your blog

A. Learn About Social Bookmarking
Watch the following video to better understand social bookmarking.

NOTE: The Delicious site has changed since this video was created. Don't panic - we have updated instructions for you in Thing 14.

Then read this article to learn more about social bookmarking.

B. Tagging
In some of our previous Things we've already mentioned tags – when searching for blogs using Technorati and when searching for and labeling photos in Flickr. Tagging is the process of assigning keywords or “tags” to online content. In the same way you stick labels on physical objects, you use tags to label digital elements such as web links, blog posts, photos, or other user-generated content. Once you assign a tag to an object, you can easily find that object later by searching the tag. You can assign multiple tags to a single object, and different people can assign different tags to the same object. Tagging is very “Web 2.0” because it supports social networking, sharing, and empowering users as well as producers of information. Tagging represents a significant shift in the way digital data is sorted, saved, searched, and shared in the 21st century.

Other terms related to tagging are folksonomy and tag cloud. Folksonomy is derived from "folk" + "taxonomy" and is very different from traditional subject indexing. Perhaps the most important strength of a folksonomy is that it directly reflects the vocabulary of the users. A tag cloud is simply a visual representation of a collection of tags with font size representing frequency of use.

C. Reflect - Blog Prompts for Thing 13
Share your thoughts about tagging. Is tagging a useful way to organize your digital resources and why? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages? What is important to think about before assigning tags to bookmarks or other Internet content?


  1. Tagging information can be a great tool not only at school but at home to keep things organized. It would be easy for everyone to follow. At school I share a computer with my teaching partner and this could benefit us greatly. We could tag information we share for teaching purposes or information about students.

  2. Thank you so much

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