So what are social bookmarking tools? Social Bookmarking tools allow users to organize, manage, store, search and retrieve their saved bookmarks from any computer as long as it can get to the web. On an Internet with an estimated 15 billion web pages, bookmarking tools allow us a very easy way to “bookmark” web pages and images that we are visiting in a real time moment, to be able to search our bookmarks and go back later – even a year or more later, assuming the site is still active – and find our bookmarked site or images when we need them. What’s more, we can share our bookmarks with others, either those we choose, those in our personal networks, or with the entire online community!
Check out this short video from Common Craft (3:25) for a concise introduction to social bookmarking, focusing on one of the most popular bookmarking tools, Delicious, as an social bookmarking tool example.
Okay, so in addition to being able to organize, manage, store, search and retrieve our saved bookmarks from any web enabled computer, we can also share and access each other’s bookmarks – What’s so beneficial about the “sharing” part of social bookmaking tools?
As the Common Craft video noted, the “social” part of these bookmarking tools allows us to learn, share and use each others’ saved public bookmarks — it contributes to a positive information and knowledge community on the web, and we inspire each other with our bookmarked resources that we make available! With 15 billion pages, we’ll never have time to visit them all — but we can benefit from the social efforts of others, who have taken the time to compile and tag their bookmarked links for learning community benefit.
And so here’s where the other important concept comes in – organizing and tagging. It’s the categorizing and labeling/”tagging” of our bookmarks that allows us to later efficiently search through our saved bookmarks, as well as facilitating others to do so as well. As this Wikipedia article on Social Bookmarking notes: “Tagging is a significant feature of social bookmarking systems, enabling users to organize their bookmarks in flexible ways and develop shared vocabularies known as folksonomies.”
It is your tags that will help you – and others – makes sense of and search your saved bookmarks for retrieval and inspiration. While you often have the option to sometimes label your bookmarks with free-text comments or descriptions, more focused uses of tags will make them useful to others in the Internet community for browsing and access. As the Common Craft video noted: “Your bookmarks can benefit other people!”
So let’s dive in!
TIP: YOU CAN PICK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TOOLS TO EXPLORE & THEN SHARE A REFLECTIVE BLOG POST ABOUT. (feel free to pick more than one if feeling inspired!)
A very easy way to store “anything” – with Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images, audio clips, are made available on every device and computer you use. When you create an account, Evernote gives you a clipping widget tool for clipping things from the web.
Because your saved things are stored in the cloud, you have access from any web enabled device or computer, and you can share it, too.
Here is an excellent video by jhedin31 (9:33) that gives a concise Evernote Tutorial, taking us from the account creation process, to creating new notes, to tagging, an overview of note features, saving, organization tips, uploading files, and ways of sharing our bookmarks and notes.
Also, check out this inspiring video highlighting the educational potential of Evernote at a K-12 school in Montclair, New Jersey: “Evernote at The Montclair Kimberley Academy” (1:33)
- Create an account;
- Click here to check out some things you can do in Evernote;
- Do something in Evernote, have fun;
- Share–Post the URL linking to what you did in Evernote on your blog–Tell us about it: How was your experience? Was it fun, inspiring, any issues? Any thoughts as to how you might use Evernote in the future?;
- Use the social features in Evernote–comment on each other’s Evernote projects.
- This longer video from The Mobile Classroom series (28:06) explores ways of using Evernote. Professor James Messer shares how he uses Evernote to store and organize many different types of files and media, where Evernote surpasses being just a central repository, but it becomes more of a workflow for needs what he is doing.
- Mobile app available: Evernote has a free app for iPhone and iPad , as well as for Android devices.
- Another short Evernote video overview (1:31)
- For many more informational and inspirational videos check out the Evernote Channel on YouTube.
One of the fastest growing social media tools available at the moment, Pinterest is basically an online pinboard. More than a conventional bookmarking tool like Delicious, Pinterest is a destination of inspiration and rich visual resources. But “be careful” – many have reported becoming mesmerized during visits to Pinterest and losing track of a couple of hours or more!
Similar to Evernote’s clipping widget, Pinterest gives users a “Pin It” bookmarklet, that can be easily dragged to your web browser’s bookmarks bar; then when you find an image or page that you like, with a single click you can “pin it” to one of your “boards” on Pinterest, add a description, and it is instantly viewable by the Pinterest community. Members can “like” other members’ pins, as well as comment, and “repin” to their own boards.
Pinterest offers a range of diverse categories in which you can browse or be active in yourself with your pinning. Great for creating your own project boards, Pinterest is a wonderful source of amazing images from the web, a fund of user recommended websites, of inspirational browsing and surfacing treasures. And like Flickr, Pinterest offers a rich trove of searchable images to discover and use for presentations and projects (with proper attribution, of course!).
Check out this video from fairhair33 (4:41) featuring a basic Pinterest Tutorial. One interesting search featured is the ability to retrieve images of a certain color scheme. Also covered is a method of using Pinterest to display all images available on a particular website.
Please note some current controversy around copyright infringement stemming from pinning others’ entire images, as this article by Alyson Shontell profiles; the issue will likely continue, with outcome uncertain, but something to be aware of. It also is further reminder to properly cite all of our sources when sharing others’ content.
Note: Anyone can freely browse Pinterest, but to join, currently you need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to establish a Pinterest user account. This could change in the future; we’ll have to see how Pinterest develops with all the intense activity and interest around this tool.
- Visit the Pinterest homepage;
- At the top click the Request an Invite box;
- This takes you to where you enter your email address, and then click Request Invitation;
- This triggers the message: “Thanks! We’ll send you an invite as soon as we can.”–Pinterest makes you wait a bit…
- Before long you should have an email invitation to establish your Pinterest account (again, you need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to join Pinterest, and will use one of these to provide your user information);
- Create your account; pick some interests from the Pinterest categories, Pinterest initially matches you with other users to follow based on your interests;
- Go ahead and drag the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar–and get pinning!
- Share–Post the URL of your Pinterest page to your blog–Tell us about it in a reflective blog post: How was your experience? Was it fun, inspiring, any issues? Any thoughts as to how you might use Pinterest in the future?
- Here’s a great article on the iLibrarian blog: “5 Ways to Use Pinterest in Your Library”
- Visit the Pinterest Help Page for lots of tips and ideas on a range of user needs: including pinning and repinning, managing your boards, commenting on other Pinteresteans’ pins, and more!
- Mobile app for Pinterest: There is a free Pinterest app for iPhone or iPad. There may be an app for Android, but a workable download we have not as yet found.
- This article from the Huffington Post shares some “Fun Facts” about Pinterest users, as well as featuring some “Pinterest clones.”
“A better way to organize and share the information that you find on the web.”
You create an organized, fully loaded online “binder” of text, links, images and videos, and other resources, complete with page tabs and sub-tabs–and you can share your completed binder as a simple URL to send to others or make available for the community to access your binder–it couldn’t be easier! For educational uses LiveBinders makes a wonderful pathfinder tool.
Check out this video (1:33) from LiveBinders that introduces this tool and demonstrates how-to. (May take a moment to start.)
- Visit the LiveBinders site and click ‘Sign Up’ to complete the simple sign up process;
- After logging in you can visit your LiveBinder area–browse around, or jump right into creating a new binder!
- Create a new binder: this can be as basic or rich as you like, the main thing is to gain some experience creating a binder to see how easy it can be;
- Share–Post the URL of your binder to your blog and tell us about it: How was your experience? Was it fun, inspiring, any issues? Any thoughts as to how you might use LiveBinders in the future? Any resources or tips you found to share?
- Visit the LiveBinders Learn More page for additional information, links to Video Tutorials, archived Webinars, as well as potential Educational uses: School Computer Labs, Class Presentations, Class Assignments, Learning at Home, School Team Sports, Class Projects and Research.
- View some of the binder examples on LiveBinders for information, ideas and inspiration!
- Check out the the LiveBinders Gallery at TeacherCast.net
- Scan the LiveBinders Blog for news, information, tips and inspiration.
We definitely want to hear about your experiences with any or all of these tools! Your reflective blog posts will inspire and enhance community, and we want to share and learn from each other, participate, and though it all: Play! Learn & Have Fun!
And if interested, read on: here are a few more tools to consider for your toolkit. As always, if you know of any interesting or helpful tools we have not mentioned, please share with the community and mention on your blog – thanks!
More Tools FYI…
“Web Highlighter and Sticky Notes, Online Bookmarking and Annotation, Personal Learning Network.” A cloud-based personal information management system; allows highlighting chosen parts of webpages you find, adding digital sticky notes, and much more. Great for saving and sharing screen shots – a whole webpage screen, or just a selected area of it. Enables knowledge-sharing and group-based collaborative research. Check out this excellent video introduction to Diigo. (3:35)
[aka formerly known as Foxmarks] A browser plug-in that when installed on each computer you use seamlessly integrates with the web browser and keeps bookmarks safely backed-up and synced. Available for multiple browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari. You can watch this video “How I use Xmarks.com to sync and backup my bookmarks” by casttv. (5:46)
A bookmarking tool from Google. Use when logged in to gmail. Here’s an interesting video about Using Google Bookmarks with Lists: (2:50) You can save bookmarks a number of ways, including through the Google Bookmarks gadget on iGoogle; or clicking on the star button on your Google Toolbar.
Using the “Read Later” bookmark you can mark something you want to read for returning to this page and reading later. As with other tools you can drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar. Here’s a video “How to User Instatpaper” from hardy1nc. (4:18) Have a Kindle? Check out this video tutorial from mlgsca on “Setting up Instapaper for your Kindle”(2:23)
Visual bookmarking tool with some social features. Zootool supports bookmarking, organizing, sharing images, videos, documents and links from the web. Here’s a list of features. For a more comprehensive look, you can view this longer video “Intro to Zootool – Part 1″ from evolutionarydesigns. (11:26)
Developed in Germany, cited as Europe’s largest bookmarking service. Each bookmark is represented by a thumbnail of the website. You can watch a video introduction by BeeRobi (2:41) [n.b: no sound] Mister Wong is available for English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian, German.
Historious is a bookmarking tool that allows the creating of a search engine – but note that thefree account only allows bookmarking 300 sites – after that a fee is involved. Here is a video introduction. (1:36)