Delicious Subject Guides: Maintaining Subject Guides Using a Social Bookmarking Site

Too bad the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research articles don’t allow comments, or I would have added “Great idea, and if you combine it with the Google Custom Search engine API like we did on the Free Learning site, you can also turn these ‘subject guides’ into constrained search engines.” But alas, journals are just so one way… – SWL

Presentation – Weaving Your Social Bookmarking Knowledge Network

As part of my perennial quest to foment change, I’m trying to initiate a series of grassroots “brown bag lunch online presentations” within BCcampus. We are a distributed organization of 20+ people spread across over a half-dozen locations, so building community and sharing our practices and knowledge informally can be very hard. This is one small effort on my part to improve this.

To kick it off I delivered the above presentation, on using social bookmarking to help build your knowledge network, to about a dozen of my fellow staff today. We used Elluminate to run the session, and aside from the normal hiccups with sound cards and missing mics, it seemed to run pretty well and I’m hoping was well received. The real proof will be if anyone else starts to use this technqiue to start sharing their attention and knowledge, and also whether it inspires anyone else to stand up and run a session of their own. I hope it does. I built the original presentation within our Confluence wiki (partly to walk the talk with that tool) but posted it here in a mediawiki instance in the hopes that it might be of more general interest. It’s formatted to work ok with the Greasemonkey Mediaiwiki Presentation script as well. – SWL

Familiar Taste – Greasemonkey script to help you remember what you’ve tagged

So after about the 100th time of trying to tag a site in that I’d already tagged before (early onset alzheimer’s?!? More likely the effects of my misspent youth), I thought to myself “Someone has got to have already built something that queries in the background and lets you know if you’ve already tagged a page.” And sure enough, someone had, using Greasemonkey.

This script (great name!) displays a small piece of text on the screen with the tags you used (and optionally, how many other folks have tagged it to) on any page you visit that is already in your links and then gently fades away (the fade time can be configured). I use the extension for Firefox already, and this would seem like a natural addition they could build into it, but until then, this script does exactly what I want. – SWL

Why doesn’t suck (but I do, and Firefox Quicksearch definitely doesn’t!)

O.k., so while I still think it sucks that I can’t currently import my old bookmarks into, Greg Ritter (yes, that Greg Ritter, he’s still alive, just lurking but not blogging) quite reasonably pointed out that there is no time like the present to make the shift to, and that the lack of an import feature doesn’t need to be reason not to. He recommended just starting to use it regularly, and then setting up a quicksearch shortcut in Firefox to my FURL collection. It’s not perfect (something that quickly searched across both collections would be even better) but as an interim solution until the cats at fix their import feature, it seems pretty good. (Though if it wasn’t obvious, my post was less a cry for a workaround and more a public challenge to to get off their duffs and fix this!) Still, thanks Greg, as the Firefox quicksearch feature is a nice suggestion in and of itself. – SWL

Why sucks

That got your attention, didn’t it. Actually, it doesn’t suck at all, in fact my complaint is that I want to use because of all the cool tie-ins it has spawned, but I am not going to abandon 18 months worth of FURL’d links, and refuses to fix their import feature. There has been a message on the import page for for going on at least 4 months that says “Our import feature has been turned off for a few days while we fix some bugs. Sorry!” and the reply I got to my email back in November was “Should be done soon. We are removing the last final bugs.” Gee, thanks. If there is anything worse than not responding to potential customers, its responding to potential customers and lying to them.

Maybe this is what a rapid infusion of cash does to a company. Oh well, I guess this is what I get for backing the wrong horse in the first place, but sheesh, they’re only links, how hard should it be to export and then import these things? – SWL

Edubloggers Links Feed – Join In!

It’s been two months now since I started subscribing to an aggregated feed of FURL and feeds from various EdTech bloggers. It’s been a very fruitful experiment, and according to Bloglines at least 9 other subscribers seem to think so as well. For me it is providing a second channel of good resources with just enough context (e.g. the fact that they are all edtech bloggers I respect) to know they are worth considering but without the reading committment that blogs require.

This post is simply another shout out to any EdTech bloggers out there who also maintain a FURL, or other bookmarking site that offers RSS feeds to add their’s to this site – it’s open to anyone to add to. Currently the really active source feeds are from the cogdog, Brian, D’Arcy, Will Richardson, Trey Martindale and Greg Ritter, but there are tons of other folks whose interesting URLs I’d love to see.SWL

Distributed Tagging and Auto-Complete – an example

From a somewhat hysterical slashdot thread examining the user generated tagging systems in Flickr, and the like came a reference to this little experiment to introduce auto-completion and suggestion of tags based on a user’s previous tags. This is a step in the right direction – if it can start to pick up tags from the overall site, then maybe one of the issues with this overall approach, lack of synonym support and inconsistency applying tags, maybe isn’t as bad as it first appears. – SWL

CiteULike: for Academic Citations

That edubloggers links feed has already paid off a number of times – this morning Alan furl’d this new site, in essence for academic citations.

So what not simply use instead. Well you probably could, but the advantages seem to be:
– the “most active” tags that have currently emerged come much more from the world of scholarly jargon (jargon’s not always a bad thing, you know)
– a nice feature specific to academics, the site allows you to export your collection to either BibTeX or Endnote to help build a bibliography.

Will it take off? Who knows. It does offer RSS feeds on keywords; for instance, here’s one on self organization. – SWL