I've written about social bookmarking before (see previous post for details), and specifically a service called Delicious. Basically, social bookmarking sites allow you to save bookmarks so that they can be accessed from any computer, and make it easier for you to add your own tags, descriptions etc for each site to find them again quickly.

So far, so good; now this is where the 'social' part comes in. Once you've saved a bookmark, Delicious makes it very easy for you to see who else has saved the same pages or similar ones. After a while, you begin to see which other users have similar interests to yours, and so you can add them to your 'network' - this is much like making a friend request on Facebook. This means that when you log in to the site you can quickly check what these people have been tagging and vice versa, so that you each benefit from the other person's bookmarks.

In the year or so that I've been using Delicious, I've come across a number of people who are also saving information on childcare / education topics and added them to my network. A number of the sites that they've subsequently recommended have given me ideas for the blog and other work, and hopefully they're making use of the sites that I've saved too. It's an excellent example of how the Web can help users to share information for mutual benefit.

It seems to me that a service like this would be very useful for students who are usually working on an assignment alongside 20 or more others at any one time. If enough of you create an account with Delicious or a similar site and set up a network between yourselves, then all of the group should benefit from the research that each individual has carried out.

Hopefully that all makes sense! If you're already using Delicious, feel free to add me to your network - my username is allthecoloursfade (it's a long story...); this will give you instant access to my personal bookmarks containing several hundred web links to useful reports, organisations etc. If enough of you are interested in using something like this but aren't sure how to get started, then get in touch with me and I'll organise a workshop to demonstrate how it all works. Or you could just view this excellent video: Social Bookmarking in Plain English.


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