Saturday, April 5, 2008

Week 4 assignment: Social bookmarking

Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere?

I certainly see the value of creating a personal go-anywhere set of bookmarks that is accessible via any computer. I do want to highlight that just because we use doesn't mean we have to expose our possibly bizarre mix of bookmarks (my colleagues and future users might wonder about my range of Victoriana, goth music & genealogy interests!) for the entire Internet to see: check out how you can set privacy filters. Rebecca Brown from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) offered a Social Bookmarking class that is archived and I highly recommend this for some additional insights regarding the cognitive process behind tagging (freedom vs. control) that I hadn't thought about before in addition to a guided tour of importing existing bookmarks and other features.

As for research assistance, I can see value in social bookmarking with the important caveat of first determining if the user or specialized user group perceives this as a valuable service after a brief explanation. We can annotate in notes to help users determine the importance of or otherwise rank resources within a category, but I'm a bit concerned that there's not an efficient way to list them as #1,2,3 etc without renaming the link as such and that can be distracting plus high maintenance for the future. At this point I believe RSS feeds for PubMed searches rank a bit higher for research/currency in our field, but I also haven't checked out Connotea yet which seems more on target for health sciences.