Social Bookmarking "Research"

Asked to design a simple bookmarking tool for Basie now. I’ve been looking around for some good examples, and these seem to be the best though I looked through several more.

* Furl
* Del.icio.us
* Google – what doesn’t google have?
* Simpy

The main features in most bookmarking sites:
* URL (obviously necessary)
* title
* description
* tags

Google’s bookmark saver is essentially the most basic one you can have. It only allows you to add, remove, and edit your own bookmarks. So it does not allow sharing and viewing other users’. This feature is tied in to browsing history.

One thing I’ve noticed with many of these sites is that the ability to add a new bookmark is always somewhat hidden away or not noticable at all. I even encountered one site that does not even allow you to add a bookmark! (unless of course I just couldn’t find it, which isn’t any better)

Some sites don’t take you directly to the site when you click on it. It will first take you to a more details view. I’m personally not a fan and I think that in the context of Basie, it would just be easier and more intuitive to make the link take you straight to the page that’s bookmarked.

Simpy has a very simple, yet not very visually appealing, interface. I like the little [+] next to links and notes to add a new link or note. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of notes are. Simpy also allows users to create a group, watch other users, and see who’s watching them. There is also a “similar users” field that, I’m going to assume, will display users who have similar links as you.

Another feature of most bookmarking sites is the ability to set the privacy level of the bookmark. Most only offer public or private. For Basie, it would make sense to have public, group, and private (though private may not be used very much).

One thing I was thinking about for this feature for Basie is the ability to easily share information among the class from the prof and from students. I am taking CSC318 which is an HCI course, and all the students are given access to all the other group projects. This would definitely make that easier to manage since at the moment, we’re using a wiki page that the TA’s and professor post the projects to. If every group could just bookmark a link to their document or web application, it would make it easier to get information. However, unless the course is designed in such a way where teams are able to see other teams’ work, then there would not be much use for this. I can envision it being used mostly by the professor posting useful links with the occasional student doing so as well. Then in that case, an announcement, blog post, wiki, forum post, or e-mail would be sufficient.

This is it for now. I might edit this in the near future.

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2 Responses to Social Bookmarking "Research"

  1. Liz says:

    I use delicious, and I have to say one of the great things about it for me is the ease of saving something for later reference. I use the browser plugin so it’s 1 click, filling out a quick form, then another click, and I have forever saved the page.

    I think it might be really cool in the context of a development portal to have annotation. A really cool example of annotation is ShiftSpace: http://www.shiftspace.org/. Something simpler, like the description field of delicious but more prominently displayed could be useful. For instance, someone might want to comment “I used this as a reference when I worked on the interface for the dashboard”. Maybe a way to easily insert references to bookmarks in the sourcecode would be handy too (like our own mini-version of tinyurl? hmm, maybe that’s silly)

    Anyway, that’s my two cents/brain dump on it. Social computing is one of my specializations so let me know if you want to chat about it or anything. šŸ™‚

    Also, there’s a great collection of HCI bookmarks via our HCI student group available here: http://delicious.com/sochi

  2. Liz says:

    by source code, I meant comments/documentation.

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