Social Bookmarking Madness

Just how many social bookmarking apps are out there and how many do we really need?

socialmarker proudly boast that it supports 47 bookmarking services. 47. Its is a miracle that they found a way get it done. Aggregating other parts of the lifestream seems to be difficult.

I was of the opinion that social bookmarking was a niche in the web 2.0 toolkit. socialmarker demonstrates that social bookmarking isn’t so much a niche anymore. Now social bookmarking has niches. (Niching niche niches?). You should be familiar with del.icio.us and maybe Google Bookmarks. I may be back in the social bookmarking stone age but I didn’t even have a clue that Ximmy and Bibonomy were even services.

Social bookmarks definitely have a place in the toolbox of the digital learner. It is quite possibly the one tool that is the easiest to justify in the classroom. How many college instructors haven’t either handed out a hyper link to a student to research a topic? How many papers are submitted to instructors without a reference to a website within the last year? How many students have struggled with keeping up with their bookmarks and sharing with their friends?

A shared social bookmarking site makes more sense than a wiki or blog. socialmarker brings into question the value of social bookmarking by offering more options than answers. An instructor considering using a web 2.0 tool in there curriculum may make the most sense but the sheer number of options could steer the timid away from web 2.0 altogether. After all, if making a decision about social bookmarking is this difficult then what about other web 2.0 apps?

It could be argued that Del.icio.us is the best social bookmarking tool. Digg must be considered as a viable option. Ma.gnolia.com and Furl should at least get honorable mention. (Ma.gnolia.com did’t make the socialmarker cut but OYAX did?) But within a breath, or at least this paragraph, there are 4 different answers which by no means should be considered definitive.

It comes down to research, commitment and a plan. An Instructor must consider the role social bookmarking will have in the curriculum in the first place. Develop a plan of how social media will be used in the classroom. Consult the student body to see which social bookmarking tool is the most useful. Commit to the research and the decision. A hasty decision could have disastrous consequences when making future decisions about web 2.0 and social networking tools in the future.

Plan and plan on using it. The students already are.

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