Tagging and Bookmarking

What is it?

Tagging and bookmarking are methods of categorizing relevant websites in order to be able to find or renavigate to them quickly.

Originally, bookmarking was simply a method of storing websites on your personal computer in order to be able to easily return to often used websites and internet services.

However, as the web grew and became more complex, users wanted to be able to share their ‘bookmarked’ websites, or find new sites based on their interests. It is from this desire that the concepts of ‘tagging’ and then eventually ‘social bookmarking’ came to be.

Early in the life of the internet, public bookmarking sites such as “itlist” and “hotmarks” became available to users. As these services became more and more popular, easier to use and most importantly economically viable, methods of linking together and organizing data became available. This became the process of embedding “metadata” into websites, to allow the rising giants of search engines to more easily index websites. Originally, this data was invisible to users, but as web 2.0 applications and services became available, users were able to not only see this metadata, but to themselves ‘tag’ the site with an appropriate label. This change benefited both users and content providers, as it was easier to find relevant web results, which led to increased site traffic and thus revenue.

With so many users online applying meta-tags and labels, however, it became difficult to find the ‘best’ sources on a given topic. It is for this reason that ‘social bookmarking’ sites such as Digg came into existence, to allow users to individually rate a public bookmark and thus quickly and with minimal effort find the best possible source for the information they were looking for.

What is it used for?

Tagging and bookmarking are essentially just ways of collecting, connecting and organizing relevant data. You can use the bookmarks in your browser to collect sources or sites you like. Tags serve to connect articles or content throughout the internet, particularly on blogs.

Who uses it?

Just about everyone online these days uses these services in some capacity. Whether you are uploading to DIgg or simply making a hotlink in your browser so you dont have to type in the name of your favorite website every time you log on, your using bookmarks. Tags are used by many bloggers, so if you are a fan of any blogs, its almost certain you have encountered tags.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

  • Organizing links in an easy-to-reference fashion makes research easier.
  • Tagging allows for a more heuristic approach to content-gathering.

The content on this page was derived from webpages maintained by the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology
The content on this page was derived from the Bookmarking page maintained by Wikipedia