David's Blog

Living a quiet life in Coquitlam, B.C.

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Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Monday, August 21, 2006

Social Bookmarking

Some time ago, I got into “social bookmarking”. I had heard about it for a while, but never really paid attention to it. However, I finally decided to try it out, and I like it.

If you are unfamiliar with social bookmarking, basically it refers to saving your bookmarks online at one of the many sites that offer such a service. My favorite is del.icio.us (the URL is included in the title link of this post). The interface is quite plain, but the service is good (and it is free). And having my bookmarks saved online is extremely convenient. Previously, I would often come across a good website at work, and I would e-mail the URL to myself at home. Or vice versa. Now, whenever I find a good link, I don’t have to e-mail myself back-and-forth; I just log into my del.icio.us account and save the URL. I still have a folder full of favorites in the web browser on my computer; however, having them saved online makes them accessible from any computer in the world connected to the Internet. So I can access them from a public library, Internet café, etc. In addition, I consider such services to provide redundancy for my favorite links. For example, if I update my web browser, re-format my computer’s hard drive, get a virus, get a new computer, etc., I don’t have to worry about losing all my favorite links–-good-quality links which have been collected over several years.

Regarding the del.icio.us site specifically, by default, all saved URLs are public. Basically, when you save a URL, you also give it a name and assign meaningful tags to it. For example, if you save the URL http://www.iht.com/ you might give it the title “International Herald Tribune” and assign the following tags to it: news online-news online-newspaper politics

The tags help you find and/or group your sites later (as you gather hundreds of URLs). The tags also make your saved sites searchable by other people (remember, by default, all saved URLs are public). It works both ways: other people can see your sites; you can see other people’s sites. For example, if you check out what other sites people are assigning to the “online-newspaper” tag, you might discover some other good-quality news sites (I have found some of the best online resources this way). Sites which many people have saved recently are listed on the del.icio.us front page.

If you want to keep a URL from being public, click the “Keep Private” checkbox beside the URL textbox when first saving the URL.

Besides del.icio.us, there are hundreds of online bookmarking sites. For example, if you have customized your Yahoo! (http://myweb2.search.yahoo.com/) or Google (http://www.google.com/ig) homepage, you have the option of saving your favorite links. To mention a few others:

Blinklist
http://www.blinklist.com/

Shadows
http://www.shadows.com

Blue Dot
http://bluedot.us/friends/dots

A search for bookmarking sites or bookmarking managers should turn up many more, if you are interested.

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A plug for a couple of my sites:
If you use any social bookmarking services please bookmark my sites (and if you do, thank-you very much!):

Numerical Mathematical Utilities
http://www.akiti.ca/Mathfxns.html

Suggested tags: mathematics eigenvalue eigenvector quadratic cubic quartic spline integration algebra matrix

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Aerospace Engineering Resources
http://www.rocketscientists.ca/

Suggested tags: aerospace engineering aerodynamics aeronautics rocket rocketscience rocketscientist mathematics

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