Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 4: Online Organizational Tools (part 2)

The 2nd part of this week's assignment was to experiment with social bookmarking and social reading sites.

Social Bookmarking

For someone who once worked in marketing (for a company with a strong online presence, no less!), I am kind of embarrassed that social bookmarking was a pretty new concept for me. It definitely makes sense, especially the idea of having your bookmarks "follow" you to whatever device you happen to be using vs. being stuck on one machine. So I jumped in to add a few of my favorite sites and see which of the 2 sites we were advised to start with - Delicious and Diigo - might better serve my needs.

I started with Delicious because I had heard of it before and therefore thought it would be "better" (the power of marketing, I suppose!). It was easy enough to follow and set up a few bookmarks but it certainly didn't wow me. I took a few days off and came back to the assignment today to check out Diigo and I was a much bigger fan of it. With Diigo, it was very easy to create lists, in addition to tags, to better categorize your bookmarks. I'm not a big fan of clutter (virtually or in real life!) so I like being able to see my nice neat buckets of links on the left sidebar in addition to the laundry list of links in the center of the page. And there were some nice additional features, like highlighting or snipping a section of the page, that weren't apparent with Delicious. 

My Lists capability playing to my OCD, anti-clutter tendencies!
While I do see the professional value of learning and networking through one of these sites, this is a lower priority for me right now (as someone who is currently in between professions). I do plan to continue using it for my personal use, and to start to collect interesting sites that may assist me professionally down the road.

Social Reading

This area was not as new to me as I have been a member of GoodReads for a couple of years (though I'm not terribly active on it). I took a quick look at the other 2 sites that were referenced in my class (Shelfari and LibraryThing) and decided against them for a couple of reasons. Fair or not, I didn't love that Shelfari is part of Amazon. I actually don't buy many books through Amazon (I mostly use a Nook or my public library), so being able to link my account with my Amazon purchases wasn't that enticing. My main bias against LibraryThing was the book limit (200 in the free account). The price beyond that isn't prohibitive but it's more the principle. If I'm giving you all this data about me, my preferences, etc., then I don't think I should pay you for that! Those factors, combined with the fact that I already have a GoodReads account and a fair number of friends on GoodReads already, convinced me to spend a little more time engaging with this site.

Truthfully, I'm lucky if I read 1-2 books/month, so I don't really need to have a vast network of people recommending books to me. And while I can take the time to rate books I've read so that I get more tailored recommendations, I don't really have the time (or desire) to review the books I've read in detail, or to find groups of strangers to discuss them with. So I don't know that I am the poster child for GoodReads!

But I do like having a record of what I've read, and a place to note books that I would like to read. And, again, thinking ahead to working in a library, it's a nice, easy way to maintain/update book recommendations for students, though I think I'd want to have a separate account. Middle school students don't need to see the amount of chick lit in my bookshelves ;)

1 comment:

  1. "The price beyond that isn't prohibitive but it's more the principle. If I'm giving you all this data about me, my preferences, etc., then I don't think I should pay you for that! " This is a great point! It has been pointed out, regarding the internet, that if you aren't paying for something, chances are you are the product! Yikes...