Sunday, 6 June 2010

Bookmarking and social bookmarking

Week 5 of 23 Things, and we're looking at bookmarking.  When working full-time with a normal/big computer screen, I used browser-based bookmarking a lot, especially the bookmarks toolbar in Firefox.  This is great if you regularly need to access certain sites when using a particular purpose, for example when in work. I've added some bookmarks that I think we'll all use in the Medical Library, since I'm currently on a shared computer.

It is also possible to use a bookmarks folder in the browser, but I find I tend to forget that I have bookmarked things there. I do like that when you look at recent bookmarks you get the option to open all recently bookmarked pages in tabs.

The bookmarks toolbar approach is actually less useful for me at the moment because I'm mostly working on my lovely 9" netbook, which, while handy (fits in my handbag!), doesn't have a whole lot of screen space to spare.  I find Delicious very useful for this reason.  When I first discovered Delicious, it was known as del.icio.us and wasn't nearly as nice to use as it is now.  I used it for a while as a personal bookmarking tool and gave up eventually because it was so awkward to change tags retrospectively if needed. Coming back to it years later, I (amazingly!) remembered the password, deleted bookmarks that are no longer relevant to what I'm doing, and started over.


The new version makes it much easier to tag bookmarks, add notes and share the bookmarks with other people.  This sharing functionality is not something I've ever used in Delicious, but I can imagine that it would be very useful for people working in a research group, for example.  I have never searched for tags using Delicious either - this could be good for sharing the work involved in finding useful information about a subject or for getting an overview of what people in general associate with a particular term.  The toolbar buttons are very useful for tagging things quickly while browsing, without having to keep the Delicious account open at the same time. Delicious could be used by libraries to highlight relevant resources, and the bookmarks could then be pulled via RSS feeds into a particular part of the library website.

NHS MyLibrary includes a links panel that can be used to bookmark relevant sites, with the option of tagging links as well.  The tagging functionality allows the user to label sites according to their relevance to particular project or area of research, facilitating the retrieval of these items at a later stage.  As with the MyLibrary RSS Reader, this would be very useful for medical staff and students if they wish to keep all work-related resources together in one space.

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