One last thing…

23. Summarise your thoughts on the 23 Things @ Oxford programme

I started the 23 Things programme back in February, and  I am quite pleased with how it has gone. The web tools I have experienced as part of the programme are: 

  • iGoogle

    Word cloud from

  • Blogging
  • RSS feeds & readers
  • FlickR & Picnik
  • Delicious
  • Podcasting & Youtube
  • Facebook & LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Wikis
  • Google Documents & ThinkFree Office
  • Widgets

I think the most useful of these, and the ones I am likely to keep using in the future, are blogging, Twitter, Google Docs, and perhaps the iGoogle page.

I think a blog is a great way to keep track of what you’ve been up to, and to be reflective about it too. Blogging about these Things has helped me get the confidence to start blogging properly; if I feel I don’t have anything interesting to say, I can fall back on doing the next Thing on the list! (Perhaps I’ll start doing 23cpd just to carry this safety net on!)

The same can be said of Twitter, really. I used it before, but not nearly to the extent I do now. As for Google Docs, I can see it being very handy indeed for group work during my MA.

It has been interesting to compare my thoughts and views of the web tools with the other trainees, and to read back over the past participant’s blogs too. I think at the start I was expecting to know everything straight away about the tools, but I actually learned a lot of new useful information about them. I’m glad I took part, as even if I don’t use all of them that often, at least I have a ground knowledge of them, and will recognise when they might just be the perfect thing to use.

Thing 9 & 10: Social bookmarking and tagging

Sign up for a Delicious account, bookmark and tag some of your favourite web sites

Delicious is an online bookmarking site, where you can list links and tag and share your links.

Delicious is another tool that I have actually used before, though admittedly not to a huge extent. As part of our trainee project, Lauren (the other SSL trainee) and I have compiled some useful links on academic writing, to eventually put into a shiny and exciting LibGuide.

Our list isn’t extensive in the slightest, but it is long enough to appreciate the organisational nature of tagging. When you ‘tag’ something with a word, all items with that tag are grouped together.

This is good and bad. It is good because things, like these bookmarks, can span a few categories. Tagging is flexible, so an item can be in several categories at once. If I’ve got a bookmark about plagiarism which is aimed at undergraduates, I can tag it with both these terms. If I had to put this link into a stricter folder (as web browsers provide), I would either have to choose one of these, or duplicate the link.

Furthermore, when we are adding links to the LibGuide, just a click on the appropriate tag will bring all the relevant links and filter out those which are not in that group (I imagine this would be even more useful if we had more than 20 bookmarks saved!).

However, the problems with tagging seem to revolve around taxonomy and ‘folksonomy‘. This is because there is no pre-designed set of tags, which allows great freedom when you’re tagging your own things, but leads to difficulty because there is not adequate cross-over between tags. A great example was given at one of the recent graduate trainee sessions: sf, sff, sci-fi, science fiction, Science-fiction, science-fiction, SciFi, Sci Fi, Sci-fi, … etc!


Add other Delicious users to your network so that you can easily view their bookmarks

I have added the VHL Library to my network, just to see how it works. However, I don’t think I’ll be adding more. That sounds very negative of me, but as I have only been using Delicious for my project, I don’t have a burning desire to share these links with my friends and colleagues!

This leads me to a slight issue I have with Delicious. All links that you save are automatically public, and there isn’t a way to make them private. If I were to save all my favourite sites to a public page, everyone would know I’m one of those people who spends their time watching videos of kittens on Youtube.