If you are not already using a social bookmarking website, I recommend you check out del.icio.us and start using it. One of the questions I asked Will Richardson 2 weeks ago at MTI 2006 was, “How do you decide which web 2.0 technologies to embrace and start using?” This is an important question, since there are so many choices. For me, del.icio.us has become part of my daily life, the way I record (and simultaneously share) the “good stuff” I encounter on the web for future reference. I like to blog about things, but del.icio.us is so quick and easy I can always save a website with a quick note, even if I don’t have time at the moment to write a blog entry. Will answered that part of how he decides is what technology comes out early and is adopted by many others. In this case, del.icio.us is very “established” as a read/write web social bookmarking site and has a large user base– and these factors make it a very powerful tool, since the more people that are collaborating with a tool– the more powerful its sharing potential becomes.

I noticed today that del.icio.us now offers “network badges” that you can copy and use on your blog. I’ve added one to my blog sidebar, you should see it now on my homepage as well as other pages, below my disclaimer– it looks like this:

Saving websites as favorites or bookmarks is a basic Internet-use skill, and something most computer users can understand more readily than even blogging, RSS, podcasting, etc. When sharing workshops on web 2.0, I think one of the big challenges we face is not overwhelming people with too much information and too many tools. For those of us using these tools on a regular basis, we have considerable “read/write web schema,” but that is not the case for most classroom teachers.

I’m toying with the idea of offering a weekly or bi-monthly read/write web videoconference for Oklahoma educators, that might be opened up to more folks as well. If I do this, I’ll likely publish these as video podcasts on a new channel / feed. I think a great place to start talking about the read/write web and the collaborative power of it would be a site like del.icio.us. It is not only easy to spend a lot of time exploring links– when you connect via del.icio.us with someone else who shares some common interests with you– but it also can provide a dramatic lesson in how powerful digital social networking can be, when people are collaborating for a common purpose.

As an example, when I was typing this post I looked at my own del.icio.us network link, and found that del.icio.us user “wark” has bookmarked a California school’s great page about MySpace created for parent education. Without social bookmarking and the network feature, I may not have run across this– but now I’ve added that to my own InternetSafety social bookmarks and will be sharing that with others (I’m sure) in the weeks ahead as I talk frequently about MySpace and Internet safety issues.

Check out del.icio.us and sign up (it’s free) if you’re not already using the service. Then add me to your network, find others to add, and start collaborating with educators and others across the globe via social bookmarking! 🙂

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