Social Annotation

On Gutenberg Galaxy by Manuel Sanfuentes

On Gutenberg Galaxy by Manuel Sanfuentes

I tend to think that the particular resources we will cover this week just may have the most profound impact on you and your colleagues as scholars and researchers. But to take advantage of the full potential of the collaborative, sharing aspect of these environments could require a rethinking of the way humanities scholars work. With that in mind, I’m going to link back to last year’s post on this topic so that you can see what students in that class had to say about these concepts. Where are you on the spectrum of viewpoints presented?

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3 Responses to “Social Annotation”

  1. Jessica McBride Says:

    Two very positive things that I’m feeling after reading this week’s articles and the posts from last year’s class: a) For the first time this semester I actually already feel relatively comfortable and knowledgeable about the Web2.0 tool we’re discussing (because we have already been using it at least in regards to articles for this class, if not for all of our bookmarking needs), and b) I feel a lot less guilty about how cynical our class seems sometimes…we don’t even compare to last year’s class!
    But seriously, I was kind of surprised by the responses from last year. More accurately I was surprised by Renato and Felice’s responses. I immediately related to how Martina and Alfonso point to the benefits of the organization and social aspects of social annotation and bookmarking. They brought essentially the same points that Lee and Sachi LeFever brought up in their video “Social Bookmarking in plain English.” I tend to agree with Martina and Alfonso about the positive aspects of social bookmarking, simply because I have already seen the benefits from our Diigo group. Even if the specific articles that other members of the group don’t necessarily interest me, the websites always lead to interesting places, and I’ve already found some things that I may not have otherwise. This, however, leads into a point made by Renato regarding the reliability of sources. So far I haven’t really used bookmarks or annotations from those not in our group. I am using people whose research scruples I trust, and thus the issue of whether or not the search is any more effective than Google is irrelevant. If I were to use the search feature (which can use Google, in fact, as the search engine), I agree with Renato that the searching capabilities are largely the same.
    I can’t help but feel, though, that social bookmarking is an incredible tool for us as students and as researchers regardless of the disadvantages. I, like Alfonso, really appreciate that I don’t always have to print off an article to be able to zero in on which parts are most interesting or important to me. I also would LOVE to have Diigo groups for the classes I teach as well as those that I take so that we could not only avoid unnecessary paper use, but also so that we could have easy access to articles that would normally require a trip to the library.
    I’m sorry that I ignored the articles a bit, but the posts from last year were really interesting!

  2. wltung Says:

    Before I relate my thoughts about this week’s topic–social annotation, I would like to mention the great video “There is no shelf” that we saw a couple weeks ago. Since I am a technical novice, I felt so surprised and impressive about the content—Information Revolution as I was seeing the video. Being a teacher and a learner, it is necessary for me to gain and practice the technical knowledge to make my teaching work and research more well-organized and more efficient. I deeply feel lucky to have a chance to know and to learn most of the technical tools systemically in the course of Beyond Web CT.

    For a novice like me, my first thinking about the term ‘social bookmarking’ is that they should be tools that allow users to save links to their favorite sites on a web server. And I infer it may have some features for novice users to use, like: 1. ease of use (categorize links/find/track new sites) 2. group features-sharing your bookmarks with others 3. page annotation/highlight content/sticky notes on the webpage. 4. page archived. After reading all the articles of this week, I have learned more about social bookmarking. I am a conservative user, only del.icio.us I have enjoyed using it for a long time. However, now I found Diigo is a more useful and robust tool, especially as I need to collect and compile my researching finding, and also I can access my bookmarks and notes from anywhere. To get started using Diigo, I would like to share Flash tutorials—a quick introduction of Diigo’s features with you.

    There are many advantages of Diigo. It serves as a personal research tool, an effective collaborative research tool, a social content site, and a knowledge-sharing community as well. In addition, all these benefits of Diggo substantially reduces the need to print stuff on paper, which is the great feature that makes me want to recommend everyone to use Diigo.

  3. wltung Says:

    Since Professor Lindsey reminds us to link back last year’s post on the topic of social annotation, I just had a look of all the responses and got some ideas. First, being a technical novice, if I do not experience the tools for a period of time, even I know the benefits of social bookmarking and annotation services from some explicit articles like “Five Ways to Mark Up the Web” and “Seven Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking” or Lee and Sachi LeFever’s video: Socail bookmarking in Plain English“, still I will easily get confused like Martina mentioned in her response. I believe it takes time and it needs experience to be familiar with the web tools. It is impossible for me to predict its flavor if I do not savor the technical feast myself.

    Also, I do not feel surprised about Renato’s doubts. One can choose to be cynical in some ways especially doing some research, yet one cannot deny the benefits of social annotation and the fact that there are still a lots of people who are willing to share their findings and thoughts together, especially when they do a project team, which is a trend. Before taking the course of Web CT, I just did the research like Alfonso, I put all the articles in my favorite, and I also used to print the articles I had to read and held a real pen to highlight whatever I felt it was important. For this habit, it may be considered as a bad habit now, I printed almost each article or thesis I found on website. So it cost me lots of money to buy a good printer, cartridges, and bunches of paper. ‘Bad habits die hard,’ so, it may be a good timing to change my life since now we have learned new knowledge to improve our life–“to simplify it instead of complicating it,’ as Alfonso said. You may laugh at me that it sounds like my confession, yet actually, I found the benefits of these tools gradually since we have learned in Web CT class. What I hope in the course is that as we move more and more in class and as we get more used to the technical tools, we can get the true benefits to help us be more efficient and well-organized on teaching and doing research.


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