1. Searching using social bookmarking (optional activity – time dependent)Rather than begin your research in relative isolation using a searchengine such as Google, an alternative method is to use socialbookmarking to see what others have found interesting or relevantwith regard to your topic. If you find a lot of people have bookmarkeda link, for example, you can often assume that the link is interestingto them and could be useful to you. Using the ‘wisdom of the crowd’in this way means that you’re making use of the work of others foryour own ends (in turn, you can make a contribution that othersmight use, too).Using this approach, you have the chance to explore the socialbookmarking facilities provided by Diigo to find more informationabout an area of interest. You will not need a Diigo account to see thefacilities it provides, but you will be able to explore how it works inmore depth if you do create one and use it.If you have a Diigo account log into your own account if not go to theDiigo homepage: www.diigo.comClick on the ‘tools’ link you will notice the search box in the top righthand corner.Enter the phrase ‘social networking university’ in the search box(and, if you are logged into Diigo, make sure you select the ‘Searchcommunity library …’ option from the drop-down menu that appears:this selection ensures that you search every bookmark saved by all ofDiigo’s users).In your results, look at the tags that have been used by Diigo’s usersto describe each bookmark. Note that some sites have been taggedwith ‘socialnetworking’, others with ‘social-networking’,‘socialmedia’ or ‘social’, and some with a variety of other tags thatseem to indicate that the site in question relates to social networking.Other tags (e.g. ‘education’, ‘university’, ‘universities’) have been usedto indicate sites that relate to higher education.As the results screen shows, there are other routes to explore; e.g. via‘Contributors’ (users who have contributed to bookmarks in theresults list) or via ‘Groups’ (groups of users who are interested in the
2. search topic, according to Diigo’s matching algorithms).Assessing the usefulness of linksWhen searching for information on Diigo there are four strategiesyou can use to quickly assess the content of a link before you visit thesite: • Popularity. The wisdom of the crowd dictates that the more popular the bookmark, the more relevant it is likely to be but, as you saw above, some sites may turn out to be not exactly what you’re looking for. What’s more, sites may take time to establish as popular and therefore a low number of people bookmarking it might just mean a site is in emergence. • Title. If the site has a descriptive title, like the ‘10 Ways Universities Share Information Using Social Media’ then it tells you something meaningful about its content. • Tags. You can see the other tags that have been applied to a bookmark. In the ‘100 Inspiring Ways to Use Social Media In the Classroom | Online Universities’ example, you can see that the tags ‘socialmedia’ ‘Education’ ‘Classroom’ ‘Teaching’ ‘web2.0’ have been used. These may help you to select the sites that are likely to be the most useful. • Date. The search results show the date that the site was first saved to Diigo. This date can be useful, particularly if you are seeking information related to a particular event.