Monday, July 21, 2008

Thing #11

Time sure flies. I just noticed that it's been a month since my last post. As an aside, my trip to Wimbledon and Edinburgh was delightful, helping to recharge and inspire. Now back to business.

Tagging and was fun. I've had a account for a while now. At first it was a adjustment. I really wanted to simply bookmark my sites, and had to force myself to tag instead. Now it's second-nature. While not a perfect system or interface, the benefits are real. Since it's web-based I can access my sites from everywhere, and the fact that I can choose to have sites displayed alphabetically or under more than one subject is very handy. I still don't quite have a handle on tag mechanics, though. It seems as if tags of more than one word, such as Star Wars, only work if you smoosh the keywords together as in StarWars. When I try just with commas I don't see my tags.

Looking at some of the other social bookmarking options was cool. Furl seemed a step backward, in my opinion. The interface seemed a bit cruder and less functional. PageKeeper was much better, however. I liked the clean look and nifty subject categories. I could see social bookmarking sites springing up that specialize in certain subjects.

I know some libraries allow patrons to tag catalog items. I think this is great, and I think we would do it here if demand warranted it, and if it was technically feasible. Sometimes tagging just seems like a big mess to me, especially when a myriad of different tags from countless individuals come together. Yet I suppose that is also its advantage; creating uniqueness out of chaos, and then sharing it. One aspect of social labeling I do like, perhaps more in the public library level, is book comments by users. It may be useful for Briggs Library to create special subject directories for users. Then again, we already have directories of websites created for patrons through our ResearchQuickStart module.