Keeping track of web pages, RSS feeds, emails and other sources for classroom lessons or research can be a big concern for teachers and students alike. But there are several sites out there to help keep and share all those carefully curated links in one spot, available for easy access when you need it.
Before we get into the sites that can help you keep an eye on all those links, a bit about social bookmarking and how it works:
Just like bookmarking your favorite web pages saves them in your browser for later—social bookmarking allows you to save links you frequently use, but with the added benefit of making the links public. Moreover, bookmarking apps allow the user to annotate and organize the links, while also letting the user determine which bookmarks and notes they want to public and which ones they want to be private.
So, say you’re working on a paper about elephants. You can go to a site like delicious.com, create an account and begin adding your own tags or searching by keyword to see links others have tagged and made public. With our elephant example, we get 515 links that people have tagged—everything from a National Geographic feature piece on what elephant calls mean to the International Elephant Foundation to an article about the birthday of celebrated Indian god Ganesh.
In addition to searching links by keyword, you can search by username as well. If a colleague has a collection of links on a certain project, you can simply look up their links by their username and see the tags they have added to them.
To get you started with social bookmarking, here are a few sites to try:
Founded in 2002 by 4 post-graduate students in Calgary, Canada, StumbleUpon combines human ratings with computer algorithms to promote the most popular links. Users rate sites by a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Since 2006, StumbleUpon has also offered a site devoted to video, which users can rate just like other links.
Digg started as an experiment by four internet entrepreneurs in 2004. Digg has gone through many changes over the years, but its function of sharing links across users remains the same. Like StumbleUpon, Digg offers a video crawler. Digg also has ‘Digg Reader’ which allows users a real-time window into the responses to their links across Twitter and other social networking sites.
Calling itself, ‘the front page of the internet,’ Reddit crawls the most popular sites. In 2015, Reddit got a mind-boggling 82.5 billion pageviews and another 75 million submissions from its users, called ‘redditors.’ The name is a slang for the phrase, ‘read it,’ and links are organized into sub-categories, called ‘subreddits. Reddit covers everything from news on the current US Presidential race to funny cat videos to user provided links and discussions about sports.