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Saturday
Jan282012

Day 9: Reading & Organizing

As I am finessing my tweet pals and my keywords, I am finding some blogs and websites that are pretty interesting.  One was from an author whose book I just finished (and really liked). Another was an institute that is doing research in my area of study.  A third was a site with puppy videos. So what do I do with all of this “stuff”?  I could bookmark them all on my Firefox, but that makes the everyday surfing I do even more complicated (and besides, I can’t usually remember what half those sites are after I bookmark them).

The solution to organizing all of the digital “stuff” I am accumulating? Delicious.com. It is described as “the world’s leading social bookmarking service”. The greatest benefit to delicious is that it stores all my “oh, that is cool” places all in one spot.  It also organizes them.  For instance, I have collected a number of potential resources for a class I teach in Computer Mediated Communication.  I also get frequent requests after I speak somewhere for a list of good resources.  Not a problem.  The other benefit to a site like delicious is that it is social.  So if I want to share my class resources with my students or writing resources with interested audiences, all I need to do is send them my delicious link and they can peruse through my collection.

The other benefit that I haven’t quite figured out yet has to do with sharing organizational patterns.  For instance, if my tags are “public” and I tag a site on puppies, I might put it in the file I label “communication strategies”. Other people who tag the same thing can see how I organized the site and may get a whole new perspective on puppy love.  They might also see that I am a like-minded communication person and we can build some sort of virtual relationship.  I also think it is like the geeky habit of looking through other people’s bibliographies for good ideas of what to read.  This time, though, I can take a stealthy perusal through someone’s “collections” or “stacks” to see if there is something new to see. And it’s a lot more fun than looking at boring APA citations.  For instance, I looked under “the evolution of the modern bathroom” and found fun pictures, blog excerpts, and videos of bathrooms throughout history.  I also do a search into social media and church and find the top sites that have been tagged by other delicious users.  I also get a good feeling for what keywords I should be using in my blog posts.

Well, the whole thing is kind of fun—in a weird, geeky, organizing way.  As my social media use is increasingly cluttering my thinking and my workspace, it is so very important to find tools that will help simplify and structure my experiences. Delicious.com and TweetDeck and just 2 of the best things I have found.



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