First, there’s personal organization. I could never get the
hang of bookmarks and folders, and it was hard to remember what to
Then there’s social discovery. I check my del.icio.us once in a
while in order to find out what the latest bookmarks are in a certain
area, although I’m now slightly annoyed about the fact that most
bookmarks are either stuff I’ve already seen or stuff I don’t care
So that’s not what I really like, either.
I somewhat like using del.icio.us to share URLs, but those tend to be
special-purpose tags we’ve agreed on beforehand. I don’t really tell
people to check out my http://del.icio.us/sachac/social links, for
example, because there are just too many links for people to sort
through properly. It’s the problem of navigating through someone
else’s personal information space.
Social search a la http://myweb2.search.yahoo.com isn’t that big for
me either because (a) I’m not connected enough to get much better
search results, and (b) I don’t trust that all the relevant sites have
been bookmarked, so I may as well go through a regular search engine.
On the other hand, using event- (http://del.icio.us/tag/torcamp) or
issue-oriented tags like digitalpinay
(http://del.icio.us/tag/digitalpinay) made it easy to quickly gather
bookmarks without having to set up some kind of groupblog or wiki.
And I totally, totally, totally love checking out people’s bookmarks
and getting an idea of their interests.
That’s my killer app for del.icio.us. Stalking. ;) No, no, it’s called
keeping up with old friends and making new ones.
And that’s why people check out my bookmarks,
too. Okay, well, they don’t really have a choice because
I include my bookmarks in my blog feed for my tech-savvy friends who
read lots of blogs, so other geeks can’t help but notice whenever I
bookmark tango websites and whatnot.
I wonder if there’s a business use for this, like the way I would
_really_ like being able to flip through other people’s
bibliographies. Stuff like that.
I CAN DO THIS. I just have to make sure that it’s not a solution in
search of a problem! <laugh>
See, PhD students can spend time figuring out what the problem is and
then thinking up a solution. What’s a master’s student supposed to do?
Check out http://www.oks.ph , a Philippine social news site along the
lines of digg.com . Stories are bookmarked and voted on by users, and
popular stories are displayed on the front page. It’s a new site and
doesn’t quite display properly on Mozilla Firefox, but hey, it’s nice
to see other Filipinos into social bookmarking… =)
One of the most wonderful things about social bookmarking research is,
well, how very social it is. We congregate around our systems like the
way people used to gather around water coolers. I love the way that
the first impression I get from a page is not of link counts or tags,
but of people with varied interests, and I want to improve support for
collaboration in order to bring people out even more.
Another remarkable thing about social bookmarking is that people into
it _love_ sharing information. They share bookmarks, bibliographies –
heck, even blogs. I can browse around a social bookmarking site and
get a sense not only of what I need to know about the system itself
but also the other hobbies and interests of the early adopters.
It’s an amazing field to get into, and very very exciting.