Besides having an incredibly cool name del.icio.us is an awesome tool. It is a social bookmarking service. "A What" you say...
Here is the skinny:
You can create an account at http://del.icio.us
You can then start saving your bookmarks there
You can then retrieve your bookmarks anywhere in the world
Once you have your bookmarks you can choose ones to share with your friends - like mine http://del.icio.us/hthiele
You can also search other's bookmarks for good stuff - instead of trying to find the best sites on your own
For example - lets say I wanted to find the best sites on literacy. I could go and search for literacy on google and sift through the 45,700,000 results that are found. Or, I can go to del.icio.us and do the same search and find the sites that other people have deemed good enough to bookmark.
They key to all of this is tags. Tagging is a term you should be familiar with in 2007. When you tag something you give it a label. I know we are against this in education, but it is really helpful on the web. When you create a bookmark in your del.icio.us account you will have the opportunity to tag it as well. So, lets say you bookmarked the ESPN site. Instead of it just being ESPN it would be cross referenced as sports, scores, news, teams, and boo-yah!. Tags give a lot of quick simple descriptions to something and make cross-referencing much easier on the net.
If you go to my blog you will see that each entry gets a tag. You can then click on the tags and see all of the posts that are similar. Eventually everything you make electronically you will tag. When you make a word document you will save it with a name and tag it with descriptions. This way when you search you won't have to remember the exact name - you will look for tags.
For example: You have a document called 8-31-07techtip.doc Great, what does that file name mean to you 3 years from now? Nothing. However, if you tagged it with the descriptions del.ico.us, tag, techtip, and social bookmarking you would know immediately what was in that document.
A neat visual that is generated from tags are tag clouds. Tag clouds are graphical representations of words that show up commonly as tags. I will be showing you a really cool educational use of tag clouds next week.
Try out del.icio.us and get an idea of what social bookmarking is all about. It can really be a time saver for finding great sites. There are also a couple of people out there that I really respect in the educational field where I just go and see what they are bookmarking. I figure if they are bookmarking it then it must be worth a visit. I stumble upon great stuff that way.
That is it for now - have a great safe weekend!