Sunday, November 27, 2005

Social Bookmarking - An Updated Look

Blogging, wikis, social bookmarks and photos, are example of folksomous applications. According to Wikipedia, "Folksonomy is a neologism for a practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords. More colloquially, this refers to a group of people cooperating spontaneously to organize information into categories. In contrast to formal classification methods, this phenomenon typically only arises in non-hierarchical communities, such as public websites, as opposed to multi-level teams. Since the organizers of the information are usually its primary users, folksonomy produces results that reflect more accurately the population's conceptual model of the information. Folksonomy is not directly related to the concept of faceted classification from library science." Here some ideas I have been using in my classroom this past school year. In this post I want to reflect on using bookmarks with my kids.

Social bookmarking
What is it? And how have I been able to use a few of these in my classroom?

It is an activity performed over a computer network that allows users to save and categorize (see folksonomy) a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. Users may also take bookmarks saved by others and add them to their own collection, as well as to subscribe to the lists of others. - a personal knowledge management tool. When I first got Internet in my classroom, I thought as the teacher, I had to look up all the links and students should not use any other resources. I had a major concern with students not having high time on task. I still have some students that due to ADD would take all year to find images of three types of mountains to illustrate a simple report. For this reason, I like having several bookmarks for students to use. I continue to modify my assignments. Still looking for the right mix or blend of learning activities to engage different levels and abilities of learners. One size does not fit all, but I try to meet their needs.

Teachers have been experimenting with social bookmarking for a couple of years. Last school year my students tried to use, but had trouble understanding the utility of this tool. It seems my students are not accustomed to the bennefits of sharing their knowledge. We need to somehow help our students get their minds around how to use to help everyone. We have not tried My Web 1.0 BETA by Yahoo! As pointed out by Wikipedia, "Drawbacks of current implementations include: single word categories, although many services allow multi-words to be enclosed in inverted commas, no mechanism to define or refine categories, no synonym/antonym control or related terms & no hierarchy." I tried setting up a account for a photography class I taught last spring. We spent a couple of classes on using, but for whatever reason, my students preferred to just Google the topics they were looking for. For example, if asked to create a report on the debate between CMOS or CCD chips in digital cameras, they would just Google digital cameras.

A useful feature is RSS feeds per category (tag) that you can subscribe to - alerting you to new links in your areas of interest.


  • BlinkList social bookmarking with slick interface and new ways for organizing tags. Mike ? share via email a review of one of the social bookmarking sites recommended for teachers and students: Learning in Blink of Eye.

  • BlogMarks a variation with thumbnails and Atom enabled

  • CiteULike social bookmarking for academic papers

  • Connectedy This service allows the establishment of pseudonymous online link libraries. Users may impose arbitrary categorical hierarchies on their links and choose which categories and links to make public and which ones to keep private. The Connectedy site has particularly good SEO properties.

  • an open-source clone of, open data formats & private bookmarks

  • currently the most used software application

  • digg social bookmarking system where the links that are decided to be more popular, are "dug" to the homepage. I must confess, a day without is a day without light. I am hooked. However, I am hesitant to use this in my middle school science class. Most diggers are very responsible, and appropriate for younger learners. I have read a few posts that are not something middle schoolers can handle. This bookmarking tool is still evolving and for classrooms, the content needs to be more customizable. One idea I had was to create a Digg profile for my science classes. Then have students create their profile and then add the other students in their list of "Digg Friends." This would provide a shared list of article students have dug or read. A cool feature that I have still not tried with a class using Digg is the feature it has that lets users publish an RSS feed of their Digg. Here is my DIGG feed-- feed://

  • FeedMeLinks Social Bookmarking

  • Furl similar to stores copies of the pages saved. I have tried this with one of my classes, and My Furl Account My school uses Foxfire for our default browser to reduce spyware and Furl does not support "save page". If you are using IE, Furl will let you save the page you have bookmarked. This is a real benefit if you are bookmarking photos of animals or landscapes. I like this idea, however we just prefer Foxfire.

  • linkblog Portuguese

  • Live Bookmarks Share your bookmarks, RSS feeds for all bookmarks. Easily add keywords for your bookmarks. Instant searches.

  • LQ Bookmarks Social Bookmarking, tagging and annotating all things Linux and Open Source (OS). This could your students save money on their home computers. OS is wonderful. We have MS Office on all our computers.

  • Netvouz social bookmarking using either categories or tags. Share bookmarks online or keep them private.RSS feeds for all bookmarks.

  • Network Menus– Social Bookmarking within a web browser toolbar

  • O Y A X A fast and quick social categorized bookmarking service with groups

  • RawSugar– Socially enhanced web search based on hierarchal tagging of bookmarks and favorites. Include s multi-word categories, mechanism to define and rename categories, and hierarchy

  • Scuttle another open-source clone of, and IndiaGram amongst others are based on the scuttle software.

  • SimilarThings social website creation and management. Folksonomy-driven websites

  • Simpy social bookmarking with tagging and full-text searching. I got an email comment that reads: "Hi, For what it's worth, a bunch of students recently started using Simpy for their courses. Simpy is a social bookmarking site that I see you mentioned in your previous blog entry..." So, check out I would like to learn more about API hacks so I could customize features for my classes. Not really sure what I would like to be able to do (that is part of the fun with Flickr is to see what creative apps users come up with)

  • Spurl similar to stores copies of the pages saved

  • Swicki A swicki is new kind of search engine that allows anyone to create deep, focused searches on topics you care about. Unlike other search engines, you and your community have total control over the results and it uses the wisdom of crowds to improve search results. added June 4, 2006.
  • Sync2It's BookmarkSync Effortless social bookmarking, millions of hand-picked sites, real-time RSS feeds, public & private collections.

  • taghopFollow where people are going, what they are thinking, how they rate and what they say.

  • unalog open-source bookmarking software written in python.

  • Wiklink Tools to synchronize bookmarks with your browser.

  • Wists Visual bookmarks, wishlists, photoblogs.

  • wURLdBook Share webreferences and rss feeds with others and more.

  • URLex Personal/Friends/Community bookmarking and rss feeds

External Links from (updated 11-27-05)

Comparison of 19 different social bookmarking services
Social Bookmarking Tools (I): A General Review
Social Bookmarking Tools (II): A Case Study - Connotea
Social Bookmarking Tools (III): A Case Study - BlinkList for online learning
Social Bookmarking Resources

No, I have neither used nor evaluated all these bookmarking tools. I would recommend teachers interested in using social software to create an account and use it throughly before asking your students use it. Check to see if the tool is appropriate for classroom use. Ask your administrator's permission might save you some hassles down the road. My point is that classroom teachers are not experts in technology. These bookmarking tools are not correlated with our North Carolina standard course of study. Science teachers in North Carolina have to focus on covering the objectives and making sure everyone masters them for the EOC tests. So, spending time bookmarking links that are not on related to specific goals is a real waste of class time. Most classrooms still only have one or maybe two computers for students to use. If a science teacher wants to use computers, they could sign-up for the laptop cart. Computer labs are nice, if teachers have time to setup software they can use. I have found that I need more than bookmarks. In my next post, I will outline how I have been using Blogs, Wikis, and Moodle to help manage my instructional content for my classroom.

One more thing...David Warlick is facilitating a workshop in Downers Grove, Illinois this week. The topic will be using the read/write web (web 2.0) in schools. The workshop will be unique in that it is designed not only to pass knowledge and skills on to participants, but to tap into their unique perspectives to generate new knowledge.

The workshop will employ a wiki, that these educators will populate with their ideas about integrating these new information tools into the teaching and learning process.


Anonymous said...

Here is a review of one of the social bookmarking sites recommended for teachers and students:


Anonymous said...

Great post on social bookmarking! I noticed that you say that it got started with in 2003, but the list of tools shows FeedMeLinks as starting in 2002. Am I confused, or is that a contradiction?

Otis Gospodnetic said...


One of the services you listed here is Simpy. The latest release contains some features (Groups) that are really suitable for classrooms, group work, collaborative research, and knowledge sharing. I've been talking to some educators and they are starting to use it in their work. I hope you can check it out and find it useful.

ycc2106 said...

Hi! Nice review, I'm adding to my Social Bookmark Swiki. :)
It should get listed here, when indexed:
social bookmarking - social bookmarking