Week 7: Tagging, folksonomies, del.icio.us and LibraryThing

Watch this videoclip Social bookmarking in plain English (alt version) to introduce this week’s topic.

The Horizon report (2007) has this to say:
"A little group of Web 2.0 technologies—tagging and folksonomic tools, social bookmarking sites, and sites that make it easy to contribute ideas and content—is placing the power of media creation and distribution firmly into the hands of “the people formerly known as the audience” (Rosen, 2006). No longer satisfied to be consumers of content, today’s audience creates content as well. Producing, commenting, and classifying are just as important as the more passive tasks of searching, reading, watching, and listening."

We’ll be looking more closely at web 2.0 applications that take serious advantage of tagging (we've already looked at several - Flickr, YouTube, Google video and blogs all use tags). Tagging, remember, allows you to associate keywords with online content - webpages, pictures, posts, etc. It is considered a folksonomy, aka an unstructured categorization scheme.

Categorization scheme
As a library employee you know a thing or two about these – we use the largest categorization scheme on the planet, Library of Congress subject headings. Library of Congress, though, is much more formalized and is considered a taxonomy.

This week we’ll look at still more innovative applications that take great advantage of tagging – Del.icio.us, Technorati, and Library Thing.

In addition to having an excellent name (yes, that’s a real URL – the .us at the end stands for United States), Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking site that lets you save bookmarks to a central location (no more copying them to multiple browsers on multiple computers) and classify them all with tags.

How is that social?
Well, in addition to tagging your bookmarks, you can see how other users have tagged the same links and see related websites are important to them. This is an excellent way to find websites that may be of interest to you.

Del.icio.us even offers RSS feeds {link to blog} - you can create a shared bookmark site (say, for your team) and receive news every time a new link is added (say, when one of your colleagues adds a new link). It is also being used to assist with collaborative online reference.

Discover: Take a look around Del.icio.us using the account that was created for this exercise. Look at the list and see how it looks as a cloud.
How are libraries using Del.icio.us?
• See Sutherland Shire Libraries tag cloud
• See Cleveland Public Library’s tags

Explore: Using these notes prepared by Sharon Morris at the Colorado State Library set up your own delicious account and put a link to it in your blog. [hint: it will still work even if you can’t download the toolbar icons]
Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about using this tool in libraries. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

So now that you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might be wondering just how big the blogosphere is.

Well according to Technorati, the leading search tool and authority for blogs, there are over 112 million blogs currently being tracked by the site. Yes, big numbers. But, as you’ve already seen for yourselves, blogging is so easy that almost every industry (including libraries) have been trying to find ways to make blogging work for them.

That's why, this week, we're going to look more closely at Technorati.

Do you want to make sure your blog is being tracked? Register your blog with Technorati. Do you want to tag your posts to make them easier to find through a Technorati search? Perhaps not your Learning 2.0 blog, but if you owned a business and were trying to attract attention? You'd register it with Technorati.

As a blogger blogger (aka someone who uses blogger.com to blog) you are probably getting tracked by Technorati already - it keeps track of new Blogger blogs by default. But if you want to take full advantage of the service Technorati offers up, you'll need to do this more formally and claim your blog.

And the tagging in Technorati? It is wonderfully easy - you either paste a bit of HTML code into the bottom of a blog post or follow the simple directions you find when you get to the Technorati website. Once one of these are in place, Technorati will pick your tags up when it spiders (or web crawls) your blog.

So what's really popular in the blogosphere these days? Take a look at Techorati's popular page.

And now that you've seen what is incredibly popular in the wide world, we'll take a look at what is popular in the smaller library world.

Discover #2:
1. Head over to Technorati
2. Try a keyword search for “bookmobile”
3. What can you find if you use the Advanced Search feature – try “bookmobile”. Are the results different?
4. Now try searching for nswpln2008. Check the results on this one - it's even pulling up your Flickr images.

LibraryThing was developed by booklovers, for booklovers and its basic function is to quickly and painlessly create an online catalog of your personal book collection. What makes it even more special is its social networking component - once you've entered your books, you get to see everyone elses via book titles, authors, and the tags you assign to each entry. Look at the Library Thing tour. Take a quick run through these seven or eight screens for an overview of key Library Thing features and functions.

This link will take you to our Learning 2.0 account set up for this exercise. If this takes you to the 'cover view,' look above the titles and click on 'list view.' From the 'list view,' look to the far right side of the screen - it shows you how many others have entered the title in question.

You can also add a widget to display titles that are in your catalogue or install a Library Thing Search box on your blog or any other website you've set up (instructions are here).

So why join the ranks and create your own library online? With more than 21 million books to date it’s already half the size of Libraries Australia (BTW: LibraryThing also has group forum for library staff).

1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
2. Add a least 5 books to your library.
3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalogue.
4. Already have a LibraryThing account and want to try something new? Give Shelfari or GuruLib a try instead.
Next up: Answer boards and social searching... (a shorter week next week!)


Bambino said...

I got the same number of hits for the standard search in Technorati as for their advanced search, using the search terms suggested. What am I missing here?!?

Jalen said...

In the Advanced search, try TAG SEARCH, instead of Keyword search. It will give you a different result.

Jalen said...

Use the Tag Search from the Advanced search instead of the Keyword search and you will get a different result.

jenny yan said...

I like Librarything and think it is a good practice to find things for the library book reading group as well as post the discussion from out reading group. I signed up for myself, at least it can benefit me dramatically.
So far I feel most of tools, eg, blog, wiki, flickr, and LibraryThing would extend library services into a new stage. Maybe the only thing we can't afford is time. I try to be positive.

Bambino said...

Thanks Jalen! I did try the tag search for the term 'bookmobile' and got considerably fewer matches. However then I tried another term and got the same results for either keyword or tag. I guess it depends on how the articles have been tagged!

Bambino said...

I have been trying out the Kingston Public Library (VIC) catalogue as they have built LibraryThing into it (try this link http://www.kingston.vic.gov.au/page/page.asp?Page_Id=2172&=0). It's great fun and seems to work very well. You can search on an author, pick a title, then view the tags, click on tags to bring up new items, then click on those and view the status in the catalogue (ie, available to borrow or not, etc). Wish we had this at my library!

JoDee said...

Loved fiddling around with this stuff. Tags and social bookmarking are going to replace our old subject headings, I can just see it. Tag Clouds actually look exciting, don't you think? (At least compared to a list of DDC classifications.) They just call out to be clinked on!

Crescent said...

Okay, what am I doing wrong? I got no hits at all when I searched nswpln2008 on Technorati. Tried it as a keyword search and a tag search. Even cut and pasted the term from the course page to make absolutely sure I wasn't putting in a typo...but kept getting 0 hits. Help! p.s. "bookmobile" worked fine though!

Crescent said...

Okay, what am I doing wrong?! I got no hits for "nswpln2008" on Technorati. Tried a keyword search as well as a tag search with no hits. Help! "bookmobile" worked fine though.

Chris said...

Just a editing note for this page:

Under heading "Explore" the italicised word below needs to be deleted.

Explore: Using these notes prepared by Sharon Morris at the Colorado State Library the set up your own delicious account and put a link to it in your blog.

annieshomework said...

I found no blogs under nswpln2008 in advanced search, but under regular search, found the photos. Not mine though, so I will go back & check my tagging!

Jay said...

After an initially frustrating session, I ended up having a bit of fun (and learning something!) with LibraryThing. So...onward and upward - bring on Week 8!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this week more than most of the others. I thought LibraryThing and del.icio.us are great and I can see the value in creating such perosnalised groupings. Technorati has me stumped though, I basicallly got nowhere fast with it!

tracy24 said...

Del.icio.us was interesting and quite useful, although because I.T. don't allow us to install anything, I had real trouble actually adding my favourite pages - ended up doing it on our public access pcs. When I used Technorati, I had the same difficulty a few other seem to have had. Advanced searching isn't really set up that well - not very clear.
I LOVE LibraryThing, and am wondering why am I only now learning about it??

Lottie said...

I set up my own delicious account but could not work out how to put a link to it in my blog. Any suggestions?

Lottie said...

I set up my own delicious account but am having trouble putting a link to it in my blog.Any suggestions?

pls@slnsw said...

There are a number of ways of putting delicious tags into your blog see These examples
Mylee (PLS)

Helen said...

I think I finally got a link to del.icio.us but then couldnt do the Library Thing link. What is it with links? I havent had a problem before!!

cuppa.thé said...

The heading of this says Week 8, although it is listed as Week 7 on the side panel. I though I was further ahead than I really am!!!

pls@slnsw said...

we fixed it
Mylee (PLS)

Sparkle said...

I got different search results for each search. While keyword gave 558 results, advanced search using different features wach gave different results. nswpln2008 gave nothing for keyword or all word in advanced, however I did get a result, 1 result when searched excat phrase in advanced.

Gayatri said...

Week 8 was tough. May be because I was out of touch for 3 weeks. Finally I did find out about Del.icio.us & Technorati. But I feel we have to constantly be on these sites to become comfortable with the technology. For sure internet and the possibilities it offers are changing

Alli said...

I tried to do a search on nswpln2008 in technorati but got no results for the search. Does anyone have any ideas?

Arabella said...

How do you add an URL such as "Creepy requests from Libary Patrons" from LibraryThing to a blog, so that it displays as the name not the URL? If
you know what I mean. This is probably a very basic process that I missed out on.

Arabella said...

I set up a delicious account, and receieved the verification email, and now am told user name or password are wrong.

Atticus Mockingbird said...

Arabella - to link a website to words in your blog, type the words you want then highlight them, and click on the LINK button at the toolbar at the top of the post. Then type in the URL you want. Hope this helps.

Corplib said...

Delicious is a great tool for following tag related subjects, as well as very clear display for bookmarks.

This is one tool that I will be using on a daily basis.

Corplib said...

Library Thing

I found this very easy to use & most impressive with the sources available. Great resource for all those home libraries.

nae said...

I love Librarything - mainly because I love lists, books and links, but also because it could be so helpful for library patrons.

Linda said...

I like delicious (can't remember where the dots go!) and I can see myself using it for my bookmarks. I love the way it makes your bookmarks transportable to another computer. Very handy.

Searched on Technorati for bookmobile - 267 hits with basic search and 268 hits with advanced. No hits for search on nswpln2008 until I clicked on "Search in entire post of blogs with any authority in English". There you go.

I remember looking at LibraryThing a year or so ago. My logon? mmmmm. Anyway, will have another look.

Bluey said...

Can see some potential of Delicious for research assistance, but as always, have to keep an eye on the quality of the source of the information. Is also a basic & easy way to create bookmarks that can be readily accessed. A quite simple process to navigate. Good

Linda said...

Added a link to my LibraryThing account by using a gadget (not a widget!) on my blog. Don't know how I did it, but seemed to work. Quite mind blowing, really.

hippiechick said...

Library thing is a very useful site - we had Reader Education Workshops for people to find out how to use Library Thing & have a link to it from our Library website in with the RA tools. Also had training for staff to use it as a search & RA tool. Added links etc into my blog.

lw3526 said...

I am officially in love with library thing...why did I not know about this before!!!!

twinsplusone said...

OK. I have had a huge break since i last did anything with this training and found that i have had to pretty much start from scratch. Although the technology and concepts are amazing i find it hard if i am not contantly using them. But.... I have finally finished week 7

newtechgirl said...

These are my absolute favourite web 2.0 technologies! I have had a delicious account for a couple of years now and still use it regularly. I have also set up an account for staff called 'Reference' which all use and contribute to - mostly for homework help. We have LibraryThing integrated with our catalogue and it is fabulous for reader advisory.

xianghui said...

I love librarything,which helps me a lot when I prepared a reading guide.