My guess is that most people reading this blog have been using an online bookmarking system such as Del.icio.us for quite a while now. It is a great way to organise sites you visit and categorise them with tags. You can also find friends tags and share bookmarks.
I would like you to consider a newcomer ( well sort of - it has open to the general publicquite recently, but was around in 2007) - it's DiigoV3.
Diigo V3 gives an extra dimension to social bookmarking by enabling communities to grow around topics.
In other words the bookmarking is the same, but you have the added dimension of a social networking facility built into the Diigo environment.
Diigo themselves on their blog have got a bit worried about whether Diigo is will become too much like other social networks where it simply becomes a way to find your friends online and continue the conversation. Diigo seems to come at things from the completely opposite angle, in fact you find groups through what you are reading ( blogs etc) and bookmarking, the chance is then to discuss the issues that are relevant to you.
The other major advantage among many is that it is not the type of instant hit that some social networking addicts are craving, as a result it appears to be developing some interesting communities around educational themes.
It also means that you can have your social bookmarking and your networking group in one place on the web cutting down the searching around.... definitely worth considering, as usual the sign up takes seconds.
Another site which is useful and slanted more towards business networking however it also has a large edtech community would be LinkedIn. Within the LinkedIn site you start off by building your profile, which involves describing the things that interest you or work related areas. Once you have done this your profile becomes a little like your calling card, you can also find current friends/colleagues in the LinkedIn education community and join in the discussions.Others to consider ( for balance ) would be something like Pownce Where you can form communities, chat and share files.
There is also Jaiku, which has just joined the Google stable, I guess we will be hearing more about Jaiku soon! However the group here get away a little from the notion that I began with, that of using bookmarking as a means of forming communities online.
One very important thing to do and one that in my haste I often forget, is to tag your 'stuff' in some way. There was a parallel discussion going on within online communities about developing rubrics for tagging, I don't know if the issue was ever resolved, perhaps if someone who was involved would like to let me know I can add the results of the discussions to this post.
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