I’ve been on vacation for the past week and before that the spring semester ended, possibly resulting in a reduced readership for me. But then, not only BSU faculty read this blog . . . I’ve had comments and other communication with readers from all over the world. That’s the power of blogging . . . creating a community of people with common interests who like to read each other’s writing. But how do you find these common interests and read about them in blogs?
One easy and very effective way is through tagging. Tagging is a way of categorizing blog posts according to your own keywords, descriptions. Collaborative tagging is often referred to as folksonomy, which is defined in Wikipedia:
Folksonomy (also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging) is the practice and method of collaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content. In contrast to traditional subject indexing, metadata is generated not only by experts but also by creators and consumers of the content. Usually, freely chosen keywords are used instead of a controlled vocabulary. Folksonomy is a portmanteau of the words folk and taxonomy, hence a folksonomy is a user generated taxonomy.
Why is tagging so powerful? Tagging allows you to find content in other blogs that matches yours and possibly can provide you with additional insights and information about a subject area you are passionate about. But tagging can also serve a very valuable service for faculty using blogs as a class assignment. If your students are writing individual blogs for a class assignment/project, you can ask them to identify their blog posts with a specific tag, such as your name course name and section number. If all of your students use this common tag for some or all of their blog posts, then you should be able to do a search and find all of these posts on Technorati, a blog search engine.
Think of this as a super-easy way to locate and read your students’ blog posts and for them to locate and read each other’s. I’m not sure if you need to register your blog on Technorati for this to work, so that’s my next assignment! Until tomorrow . . .