Tagging is a flexible, informal way of categorizing that allows you to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Even if you’re not sure what tagging is, you’ve already seen it in action on sites like Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Diigo and many more.
Unlike library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (i.e., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data any way they want. The art of tagging by folks who are not librarians or catalogers is called “folksonomy.”
Tagging helps bring order to online content. You can think of a tag as a topic. Adding a tag (or #hashtag) to your tweet, blog post, photo, video, etc makes it easier for people find and follow the content related to a certain topic.
Twitter Hashtags Example
The idea of tagging has become very popular on Twitter. The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. You can click on the hashtag in a tweet to easily find other related tweets with that same hashtag. Go ahead and click any of the 3 hashtags included in the Tweet below. (This is another way you can benefit from Twitter without ever Tweeting yourself.)
— Sue Prenderville (@sueprendo) August 5, 2014
Have you ever been at home and wished you could remember one of the great links you bookmarked on your computer at work? Or waded through the hundreds or thousands of bookmarks in your browser and wished for a better way to organize them? If so you’ll definitely be interested in social bookmarking.
Social bookmarking is a way to organize web-based information resources so you can access them from any computer and share them with others. Social bookmarking is different from bookmarking sites in your web browser because you can access the bookmarks from any computer, not just the one on which you created them, and because you can share them with other people as well as discover what others are bookmarking.
Most social bookmarking sites allow users to organize their bookmarks by “tagging” them. The great advantage to this over saving bookmarks in your browser is that you can use as many tags as you want for each bookmark giving you multiple ways to find it later when you need it.
Watch this video to learn how social bookmarking works:
While the video uses delicious.com to demonstrate social bookmarking, I prefer to use another one called Diigo (pronounced Dee-go). Diigo has some additional features that are nice including the ability to share bookmarks with a group of people. ( Feel free to join our Learn Camp group and share your links with us! )
You can find me and my bookmarks on Diigo here.
You can plug any tag or person into your feed reader and automatically get new bookmarks posted for them.
How to Use Diigo to Collect Online Resources
Pinterest is another site that allows you to collect and organize online resources visually. Check Jane Bozarth’s article about using Pinterest for L&D and check out Shannon Tipton’s great collection of creative learning ideas on Pinterest to see it in action.
Examples of how these tools can be used by L&D pros:
- Provide links to references and examples for presentations, conference sessions, courses, etc. (A single link to many resources that can be updated even AFTER the fact.)
- Follow what other smart people in our field like Jane Bozarth, David Anderson, Tracy Parish and others are bookmarking.
- Create groups for sharing relevant links & resources with students and colleagues. If you use Articulate elearning tools, this group is a great example of curating content for a particulate target audience.
Activity 1: Explore a few people and/or tags on Diigo. Here are a few to get you started:
- Jane Bozarth – author of “Social Media for Trainers“, “Beyond Bullet Points” & “Show Your Work“
- Jay Cross – author of “Informal Learning“
- Tracy Parish
Activity 2: Post a comment (or better yet Tweet) answering any of the following questions:
- Do you already use any social bookmarking tools such as Diigo, delicious or Pinterest?
- What benefits could you see from having access to what others are bookmarking?
- How could this be used for learning/training?
Extra Credit: Sign-up for at least one social bookmarking site and help us connect with you by Tweeting a link to your profile. (Don’t forget to include the #LearnCamp hashtag!)