Rediscovering an Old Friend -

When working with Web 2.0 tools, I often feel like a teenager who dumps old friends for new ones, and back-n-forth trying to figure out what I want out of a relationship. So, this evening, I had the opportunity to rediscover social bookmarking service, which I'd dumped in lieu of, but I'm now coming back to because I dumped Diigo when I found out about their capitalist designs on my wallet.

Of course, even though this Friday I turn 42, I apparently haven't shed teenage friend habits when it comes to Web 2.0 tools. What a humorous commentary on this blogger's use of the Read/Write Web.

So, as I rewrote my article on Build Your Professional Learning Network, or BRAIN as Dan Rezac called it, I updated the social bookmarking section to excise Diigo (oh, the tears) and include Here's the result of that revision, although you can read the whole thing online, too.

Feel free to offer other suggestions as to what might be included!

1) Social Bookmarking - Get a account.
Ever wish you could access your list of links from any computer, easily share them with others, and publish them to a variety of web sites (e.g. blogs, wikis, Moodle)? If so, then social bookmarking tools make those tasks easy!

As wonderful as many social bookmarking sites are--several now feature highlighting, annotation, note-taking--they present problems due to cost. One free, longstanding service that remains is, a social bookmarking service, that allows you to bookmark (a.k.a. add to Favorites) web sites you visit that have relevant information. Once bookmarked, you can choose to share that web site link via email, add keyword descriptors (known as "tags") to organize the bookmarks.

How To Bookmark
Relevant how-to links that you may find useful appear below:

  1. Social Bookmarking in Plain English from Lee Lefever
  2. How to Add Bookmarklets to Your Internet Browser
  3. How to Create LinkRolls (view example below)
  4. How to Display Tagrolls (view example below)
  5. Bookmarking Audio (MP3) Easily
  6. How to Bookmark with Delicious on iPad
Instructional Applications
Since is about being social, you can do some useful things with The list below is not exhaustive, so keep your eyes open:

a) Theme your Tags - If you know you are doing research on "CivilWar" use that phrase as a tag for all CivilWar resources you find online. Then, share the link to those resources online or via email with one link to your colleagues and/or students. For example, my Civil War links might look like this: and result in a list of resources I think are relevant to that topic.

However, you can also tap into a worldwide network of folks who are interested in the Civil War who may use a slightly different tag. By going to, you can find resources tagged in a variety of ways:

  • Civil_War
  • Civil War
  • CivilWar
  • Abraham_Lincoln
Check out this collection of links -

Some examples:
  • As a middle school, we are using to bookmark pages for our students (Actually, our Elementary teachers are getting into the act too). The direct benefit has been an easy clearing house for all our sites. All teachers add their links to just one place and that way students don’t have to go hunting around individual teacher websites for links.
  • In 4th and 5th grade, I was having my students post their bookmarks for their podcasts last year. The students were 4th and 5th graders and I gave them a base set of tags and then let a small group monitor and then create their own for the rest of the class.
  • I use a feed from my delicious page onto my different topic pages on my wikis. The kids use these for background reading and research in their own time. I also have a feed on some of my blogs from my delicious account - especially on notes pages for the kids as well - to use the same way.
Learning about tags can be a real time-saver! Instead of Googling information, start your search at and do keyword searches that look like this: where "keyword" is whatever you are searching for. You can "add" search terms or keywords by doing something like this:
You can easily find popular Civil War sites in this way:

If you want the computer to do all the work, take advantage of Bookmark Insuggest service. You can enter your username, and then click on the tag for which you would like to see similar web sites suggested...and they appear! It looks like this:

You can also keep up with what's "hot" in people are bookmarking--by subscribing to this Twitter account:!/HotOnDelicious

b) Create LinkRolls that Fit On Your Web Site - Use Linkrolls--accessible via HELP. The benefit of this is that you can easily embed a list of links from having to copy-n-paste them one by one--onto a wiki, blog page or Moodle HTML block or discussion forum. This makes sharing links with your student a breeze!
The word in bold (e.g. mgwrites) is the tag, or keyword, that I use to identify items I want to see in the sidebar when I'm bookmarking something. Here's the linkroll creation page:

c) Syndicate Your Own Podcast Feed Using
Have a web server where you can post audio? Or, maybe you want to create your own favorite list of podcasts--that either you've created or linked to--and then share that with others? You can do that easily with Although we often think of creating podcasts by posting audio in blog entries that people can subscribe to--essentially, that is a podcast. Audio you can subscribe to!--you can create a Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed using

One way to accomplish that is to tag all your podcasts as your "myfavpodcasts" and then view that list of links via You'll note the orange RSS button, like the one shown below, appears at the BOTTOM of your link page:

As you can imagine, this makes it very easy for folks to subscribe to content. For example, if you click this link in GoogleReader, you can subscribe to some of my favorite podcasts. You can also embed RSS content in a variety of places, such as are some suggestions for accomplishing that!  Imagine bookmarking cyberbullying and digital citizenship information students and parents need to know and posting it on your District's (or your classroom's) Facebook page!

Enhancing the Experience

There are also a variety of tools available that can enhance your experience.

  • Tag Cleaner - After awhile, you may end up with very similar keywords/tags. The Delicious tag cleaner service can help you eliminate redundant tags.
  • - Enables you to pull web addresses shared via Twitter (read more about that below) and save them into Delicious bookmarks. This helps bridge the gap between services and maximize your time.
d) Create a Slide Show of Links - Taking advantage of a beta feature in, you can create a slide show of web sites using You can do this by clicking on "Browse these bookmarks" in the top right corner when looking at tags, as shown below.

Clicking on Browse these Bookmarks will open up into a larger page as shown below:

As you can see, this makes it possible to easily do a visual walkthrough of links, essentially creating a presentation based on the links. You can, of course, share the link to the visual walkthrough of web pages.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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