What do I need to know about social bookmarking?

What is it?

Social bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks (i.e. references to content, rather than the content itself) to a public web site and tagging them with keywords. The power and utility of social bookmarking grows exponentially when used in collaborative environments, in which group members contribute and annotate content.

Click here for the 7 things you should know about social bookmarking.

What are some common "tools" in this category?

Diigo ("a collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other")
Del.icio.us (collect and display bookmarked websites)
Pinterest ("a virtual pinboard")

Where should I start (or, which is most worthy of my attention)?

Though neither the most famous nor the most heavily-trafficked, Diigo meets the needs of scholars and teachers far better than most others. It allows you to easily set up and manage personal and collaborative "libraries," as well as tag, annotate, and highlight content. It is cloud-based and thus accessible from anywhere, and can easily be embedded in other websites.

Is Diigo designed for learning and teaching or do I need to adapt it to suit my needs?

Here is how Diigo defines its pedagogical relevance:
  • "In the education setting, we all know that project-based learning is an effective way to teach students and cultivate their skills of finding, organizing, synthesizing, and presenting information, as well as the social skills of working in groups, all of which are necessary in the knowledge-based economy. Among the web 2.0 technologies, Diigo is a great tool for this kind of exploratory and collaborative learning..."
  • "Diigo's features allow teachers to highlight critical features within text and images and write comments directly on the web pages, to collect and organize series of web pages and web sites into coherent and thematic sets, and to facilitate online conversations within the context of the materials themselves."
  • "Diigo is much more than a simple web annotation or social bookmarking service -- it is a new kind of online research and collaborative research tool that integrates tags and folders, highlighting and clipping, sticky notes, and group-based collaboration, enabling a whole new process of online knowledge management, learning, and teaching in the information age."

Can you give me an example of Diigo at work in the history classroom?

This group library, associated with Societies of the World 28 (Exploration and Empire), was assembled by students and their course head (Kelly O'Neill) during fall 2011. Here are the instructions for one of the assignments that kickstarted their social bookmarking project.

Are any Harvard historians using Diigo in their research?

Kelly O'Neill (Russian history) maintains a collaborative library associated with her historical GIS project. The library was first established to facilitate the work of the Junior Scholars' Training Workshop held at the University of Illinois in June 2010 and it will be undergoing a renovation of sorts during spring 2013.

Where can I learn more?

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