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In case you’re not already familiar with Del.icio.us and Flickr…

Several months ago now, I was fortunate to be accepted to participate in a free online course called Five Weeks to a Social Library. All of the course material is still online and I think that it will remain there. If you are a self-motivated learner and want to learn about a variety of online tools to connect with others, just go through each weeks’ content at your leisure.

Two of the tools that we were introduced to were:

DEL.ICIO.US 

Del.icio.us is an online bookmarking tool. If you own a PC or Mac, what del.icio.us basically does is allow you to save your bookmarks or favorites online instead of on your system. This way, no matter where you are, if you have access to an Internet connection, you can access your bookmarks. Another neat thing about it is that you can share your bookmarks with others and conversely, find new resources through others’ lists of bookmarks.

I am using this tool a lot and really like it. I would like to try applying it at my place of work (MPOW). We could create an account for staff members and they could start saving their bookmarks to del.icio.us. That way, all staff could benefit from what others have found and we would likely reduce duplication of efforts.

If we did this though, we would need to address two issues:

  • Tagging: I would like it if people used similar tags so that there was some control over bookmark organization
  • Back-ups: Though del.icio.us will likely not go out of business (being connected with Yahoo!), I would still do a regular back-up of the bookmarks, just in case.

FLICKR

Similar to del.icio.us, Flickr allows you to upload your favorite photos and share them with others. You can put various security settings on your photos, if you only want certain individuals to see them. I used this tool to create a slideshow of our organizations’ green building capital campaign.

Flickr and del.icio.us can be used for personal and professional reasons. Increasingly, libraries are using them to get the word out about their efforts, share information, and reach younger audiences (who tend to be using these sites a lot).

To tell you the truth, I was scared to try these tools out. I thought that they would be too complicated for me to understand. However, when I took the leap and started experimenting with them, I found that they were not only easy to use and applicable, but also relevant for me.

So, try them out! If you don’t like them, it’s easy to close your account and never look back!

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