Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Linking sites with social bookmarks using special EDUCAUSE tags

Note: This article was originally posted in the Connect section on the Educause Web site, at:
However, this address has since become inaccessible, so the post has been reproduced here as an archive with the same date and approximately the same time.

This is to share an experiment in social bookmarking for the Seattle conference, in which I hope others will join.  Allow me to describe below...

Paul Davis and I are due to give a pre-conference seminar on LMS vis-a-vis Web2.0, details of which are provided at: http://www.educause.edu/E07/Program/11073?PRODUCT_CODE=E07/SEM06P.  In the spirit of the seminar's theme I'm trying to make use of social bookmarking (del.icio.us) to connect related items, but don't have much experience of this.  There is an officially recommended tag for the conference as a whole, 'EDUCAUSE2007', which I shall adopt for pages that describe seminars, meetings, thoughts etc about the conference, including the page above.

However, I'd like also to point from pages describing such sessions to related sites that are external to the conference.  So I've devised a tagging convention - I took a look at the URL above and just took the event and seminar codes as the basis, resulting in e.g. 'E07SEM06P' (I don't think the case really matters).  So in connection with our seminar, supposing I wanted to bookmark a Web2.0 feature, I would bookmark that site and add that tag to the to the bookmark's tag list, "E07SEM06P web2.0..." etc.   Hence if someone wishes to explore sites related to the seminar, they can simply search for bookmarks with that tag, as listed at: http://del.icio.us/tag/E07SEM06P.

I also wish to connect related seminars, each of which has its own URL, and can be bookmarked, but I wonder what kinds of semantics are appropriate for social bookmarking?  I'm trying an experiment: for this purpose I'm introducing a new tag 'E07link' to connect conference events, particularly sessions.  So to connect our seminar to 'Tomorrow's Students: Are We Ready for the New 21st-Century Learners? (E07FS05), I bookmark the page:
and include the following tags list: 'EDUCAUSE2007 E07FS05 E07link E07SEM06P'.

It means that I can see at a glance all such conference connections via:
http://del.icio.us/tag/E07link (I've only done two links so far!)  Further, for seeing the connections from a particular event, I use:

If that sounds reasonable, then it would be nice if others could try tagging like this also, especially those running sessions.  It's largely aimed at them, because the coding system has largely internal meaning (the codes are not generally memorable!)  What I'm hoping may emerge is a map that shows how people view the connections between various seminars, say.  We could then usefully tie into other data and create mashups, e.g. using the session codes, you might be able to extract schedules, and draw a directed graphs - socially-created conference paths or tracks, as it were, based on sequences of session links.