Week Six: Tagging and Social Bookmarking

Welcome to Week 6 – Tagging and Social Bookmarking. This week’s thing is presented by Rebecca Brown, liaison for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine at KU Med Center, and Amanda McConnell, Circulation Coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library. We hope you enjoy our thing! Please ask questions and we’ll do our best to help you along the way.

Click here for the 23 Things Kansas Guide to Delicious (PDF will open). This guide will give you all the instructions you need to complete the activities of the week.

Introduction – This week we are going to concentrate on social bookmarking, tagging and a popular social bookmarking site called Delicious.  Bookmarking on your computer or adding sites to a list of “favorites” to access again later, is not new.  Social bookmarking, stores your bookmarks online, allowing you to have access to your bookmarks from any computer with Internet access.

Tagging is an informal method of organization. A tag is a keyword, and tagging is the process of assigning a keyword to online content such as web pages, images, and blogs, etc. Unlike library cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (ex. Library of Congress Subject Headings), tagging is non-hierarchical, unstructured and free form. It allows users to create connections between resources anyway they want.  You can quickly search your bookmarks using keywords that you assign.

View a 3 minute and 22 second video created by Common Craft, that gives a visual, easy to understand (and funny) explanation of social bookmarking.


Sharing and Discovery– In addition to the timesaving and convenience of an online bookmark manager, social bookmarking really shines when it comes to sharing and discovery. I refer to social bookmarking as bookmarking for the greater good.  I share, you discover. You share, I discover.  It can become a powerful research tool as you find new resources, popular resources, and people who may be interested in similar topics.  Click here to see a list of schools and libraries that use Delicious.

When I first heard the term social bookmarking a number of years ago, the use of the word social made me a little nervous.  I wondered if I was going to have to talk to strangers or mingle.  No, there is none of that with social bookmarking, and you don’t have to be social if you don’t want to.  If you choose to do so, you can make the bookmarks that you save on Delicious, viewable by the world. So, when I save a bookmark with the tag low_literacy, Delicious will show me how many other Delicious users have bookmarked the same site with the tag low_literacy Here’s an example of being social in Delicious.

I discovered that being social could be a very valuable thing. In a sense, I do mingle with others, but in a solitary way. I refer to it as guided discovery. Instead of clicking on links willy nilly, I am clicking on links bookmarked by people who have the same interests as me (indicated by the tags they have used; low_literacy in this case). When you click on the number in the little blue box next to the site you bookmarked, a door is opened where you just might discover resources that you were unaware of. Watch a short video about sharing and discovery.

Collaboration—Many libraries use a social bookmarking tool as a central place to gather and organize information at the Reference Desk.  Here’s an example from my library.  Another library application would be my use of delicious as the library liaison to the department of Health Policy at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Click here to view the account and subject guide for that department.

Privacy—Sharing is great, but not always desired.  For your personal, non-work related bookmarks, Delicious gives you the option to make them private. Here’s an example of using the Privacy setting.

Another option is to have both a work and a personal account.  If you are signed into your personal account and you find a site that you feel would be good for the library account, you can use the Send option to send the site to the library account. Here’s an example of sending a bookmark. As long as you know the Delicious username, you can send a site to anyone (even if you don’t know them personally). Now, I realize that last sentence might send up some red flags, but I found this to be harmless. If you send someone a site, it will arrive in their Inbox, and the user has the option of saving it (with their own choice of tags) or deleting it.

Tools for your consideration

Delicious, formerly know as del.icio.us, has been on the scene since 2003.  However, it is not the only social bookmarking utility in use.  Browse these sites for other examples of social bookmarking at work:

Diigo—Diigo (dee-go) is similar to Delicious in many ways.  One of the special features of Diigo is it’s capability to easily highlight, annotate, and add sticky notes to sites that you bookmark.  Check out how Bob Martin, Technical Trainer with the University of Missouri puts Diigo to use. On the first page you see his list of resources and use of tags.  Click on “Annotated” to see one way you may highlight a particular aspect of a resource.  Then click on one of the other tabs – networks, groups, and profile to get a quick tour of Diigo and how it can be utilized.  This 6 minute video provides a good introduction to using Diigo.

Citeulike—This tool is a hybrid between social bookmarking and a bibliographic manager (like Zotero, EndNote, or Reference Manager).  Its primary use is to tag and organize scholarly papers.  Use the search box on Citeulike’s main page to find users who have bookmarked papers on a topic of interest to you.

Stumbleupon— On the lighter side of things, stumbleupon is a great find for discovering sometimes random resources.  Visit Stumbleupon, select a category that interests you, and then “Start Stumbling”.  Each time you click on the Stumble! Button in the top left corner, you’ll “see” a new website someone has shared.

BlinkList— Blinklist describes itself as “like itunes for web pages.”  Visit the Blinklist website to see another utility that allows you to save and organize the web pages that you want to find again.

Tool Instructions

Click here for the 23 Things Kansas Guide to Delicious (PDF will open). This guide will give you all the instructions you need to complete the activities of the week.

Activity of the Week

  • If you don’t already have a Delicious account, consider opening one (optional)
  • After registering for an account, upload the bookmarks from your browser (optional)
  • Tag a site for yourself and send it to me too, using my username, rbrown3, in the Send area.  (see Send instructions in guide)
  • Make a bundle (see Tag Bundles in guide)
  • If you don’t want to open a delicious account, search for resources in delicious using keywords of your choosing.  See if you can discover some new or interesting resources.
  • Post a comment on your blog about your Delicious experience. Share your Delicious username if you would like.  Share how you see it fitting into your work and personal life.

44 thoughts on “Week Six: Tagging and Social Bookmarking

  1. Okay, so when I saw the lesson for this week, I thought it would pertain to tagging photos. I was so wrong. I struggled a bit with the new information but I did have the chance to go back and look at the instruction videos again and it made things a bit more clear. Again, this will definitely simplify my life when it comes to being organized.

  2. Hi Sharon,

    I’m glad that you’ve found some value in this week’s lesson. I use Delicious, and I have found it so helpful to keep track of all the sites I run into ‘out there’.

    Rebecca Brown
    23 Things Mentor

  3. Has anyone else had problmes downloading the Yahoo toolbar? Maybe it’s because my computer is old . . . but I have tried several times and no luck. I’m sure that I will be able to download it to my Mac, but that seems to defeat the purpose

  4. Hi Jane. Are you talking about installing the tagging buttons for Delicious? Please email me directly at rbrown3@kumc.edu I’d like to know which browser you are using and which version.

    23 Things Mentor

  5. I sent a tag to you and then you became a tag for that site. Is this the way it is suppose to work or did I do something wrong.

  6. Hi Ruby and Kate,

    I did receive the sites you shared with me. Thanks.

    I just looked at some of the sites that I sent from one Delicious account to another (I have two) and only a few added my username to the tag section. This is odd because I sent about 20 yesterday, and tagged them all health_literacy, but only one shows my username rbrown3 in the tag section.

    Take a look at this 3 minute video that I just made about this issue:

    I do want to emphasize that Delicious can be wonky sometimes (remember it’s free) and that the developers are always tweaking the service.

    You can send questions to me directly at rbrown3@kumc.edu or post them to the Google group set up for 23 Things Kansas at: http://groups.google.com/group/23thingsks

  7. Who can I contact for a question about Flickr and a question about Google Reader. I’m not finding any emails on this site for the discussion leaders.

  8. I can try to help with Flickr too. Or, if I don’t know the answer, I can find someone who does. –Amanda

  9. I would love to see some schools that are using delicious to tag sites of interest for students and staff. Is anyone out there doing that yet?

  10. Here is a list of Delicious users who used the Send feature to send me a site, as of 2/18/10 around 9:45 a.m. I’ll keep checking my Delicious Inbox and will add new names on a daily basis.

    Rebecca Brown
    23 Things Mentor


  11. Updated list. I received bookmarks from the following Delicious users:


    Rebecca Brown

  12. I tried to upload my bookmarks on delicious. I cannot see the file button. It looks like you are working on PC. I am on an iMac. Does this make a difference? I am following your directions and have watched a dozen times without success at finding the button to upload all my current favorites. I have added lots of bookmarks to my new delicious page. I think this will be great since I work at home as well at school. I also don’t have to worry about losing info on delicious.

    I am not working on transferring all my docs to google docs so I have back up for my school work.

  13. Thanks to the following Delicious users who tagged a site for me:


    Rebecca Brown
    23 Things Mentor

  14. In case anyone looked at my blog the last few days, I had the wrong link in there. Here is a good example on how I share delicious tags and Diigo bookmarks with teachers:


    I updated the url of my website earlier in the week for a district presentation, and I forgot to update it on my blog.

  15. Hi Sherri. Thanks for sharing that URL. Your site looks really good. You’re lucky to have access to libguides.

    Rebecca Brown

  16. And the Delicious hits just keep on coming. Please let me know if you sent a site to me, but don’t see your name on any of the lists that I have posted.


  17. Some of the instructions/wording for adding the Delicious bookmarklet
    buttons to IE 8 browser have changed since I made the video for Week 6.

    Here is an updated video for adding buttons to IE 8 http://screencast.com/t/ZGQ5Y2JhNTkt

    Follow the instructions for Internet Explorer (Manual).

    Please contact me with questions.
    Rebecca Brown

  18. Hi All,

    I received sites from the following Delicious users (updated as of Monday


    Rebecca Brown

  19. More Deliciousness received:

    Take note: Delicious allows you to set a ‘display name’ that the public will see, instead of your actual username. I am posting the username, not the display name.

  20. I will pass as an individual on this ‘social bookmarking’. As an individual, I see this as just organized clutter. Unless you want the exact article you read a year ago, I really do not see the need for this. My opinion! Now, as a library I can see how we can add a tag, or a social bookmark and how this would benefit a patron looking for suggestions on a subject. I taught for years before working in a library. I am sure I would have used this professionally, but once again not personally. thanks for the training.

  21. I have done lessons to 5 and have yet to see my Delicious name come across, so what am I doing wrong? I noticed it was too late to sign up or list your blog site—I registered ASAP at start so do hope that registered, went back and registered. I have bloged all of my lessons and am really enjoying this, great idea of learning. I see the next lesson is Twitter—tried to get on there in the past so this Sat will sit down and see what I was doing wrong with my start—.

  22. More stuff received in my Delicious Inbox:

    Thank you,
    Rebecca Brown

  23. Hi Mary,

    I found your blog [http://kittypig2.tumblr.com/] and your Delicious username posted to it: kitttypig2, but I have not received a bookmarked site from you. Here are the instructions and a short video showing how to use the Delicious Send feature to share a site.

    Send a bookmark to a friend, while saving it to your own account, by using the Send feature. If you know someone’s Delicious username, you can send them a site. The site will arrive in their Delicious Inbox, and from there, they will be given the option to save or delete it.

    Watch this short video:

    I’ll look for kittypig2 in my Delicious Inbox.

  24. Received: More Delicious Bookmarks.

    Thank you to the following Delicious users. Let me know if I have missed your name.

    Rebecca Brown


  25. Thank you to the following Delicious users for sending a bookmark to me:


    Rebecca Brown
    23 Things Mentor

  26. I now have a Delicious account and have sent a bookmark. “rbrown3″ now appears as a tag on the bookmark I sent, but I see from previous posts that there seems to be a glitch with errant tags. One question I have is whether it’s possible to send bundles of bookmarks, or if they can only be sent one at a time. I haven’t been able to locate anything definitive in the help documentation.

  27. More sites received in my Delicious Inbox from:


  28. Hi Charlee,

    You are not able to send a Bundle via the Delicious Send feature. You can however, share the URL for a Bundle via email. For example, here is the URL for one of my Bundles: http://delicious.com/rbrown3/bundle:Bethel

    When you are in one of your Bundles, just copy and paste the URL from your browser.

    I hope that helps.

    Rebecca Brown

  29. Here are the latest Delicious usernames that have sent a bookmark to my Delicious Inbox:


    Thank you,
    Rebecca Brown
    23 Things Mentor

  30. I received bookmarks from the following three Delicious users:


    I hope I haven’t missed anyone.

    Rebecca Brown

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