Our second paper bag lunch was held today. It was a small, informal session called Delicious online bookmarking. The purpose was to introduce staff members to the benefits of online bookmarking, as opposed to saving websites to the Favourites or Bookmarks menu on their browsers. Delicious is one of several social bookmarking tools available freely online and I have long been a fan of the service.
A few weeks ago, I started cleaning up my delicious account. That’s when I discovered that I’d been using it since August 2003 – that’s a pile of links to collect and store! Inevitably, many were no longer current or relevant. Some sites that were once useful to me during my primary teaching career were less helpful now. Many had new URLs which needed updating. Others needed deleting altogether. It’s kind of like cleaning out your basement or moving house; you have no idea just how much stuff is stored away ‘just in case’ until you take a proper look. My tag bundles still need sorting, but that will be a job for another day.
So, what did we talk about today? I had compiled a basic presentation about the benefits of social or online bookmarking. What would happen to your locally-stored favourites menu if your computer met an untimely end tomorrow? What if you’re travelling or away from your laptop and want to refer to a site you’ve saved at home? How can you easily access the bookmarks you saved at work from your home computer? We also looked at an example of how a team at our workplace has set up a shared delicious account for sharing links and ideas. It’s still developing in size and scope with about 50 staff members having access to the account. No doubt we will see some tagging conventions evolve over time.
As part of my presentation, I showed this SlideShare presentation about Using delicious to decrease emails. Hopefully in time we’ll find that our shared delicious account results in fewer workplace emails containing links to useful sites (or emails saying, “I’ve saved this site in our delicious account”). It would be even better to see a shift in behaviour whereby users log in to delicious as a normal part of their everyday practice, rather than waiting for external prompts such as emails and meetings. 🙂