Module 3: Social bookmarking

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, you will:

  • understand the basic features of social bookmarking
  • know how to create your own social bookmarking account
  • know how to upload bookmarks from your computer to the social bookmarking site
  • understand some of the uses of social bookmarking
  • understand the social aspect of social bookmarking
  • have developed ideas about the usefulness of social bookmarking in the library and for your own personal use

What is a Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is a web based version of your own “favorites” or “bookmarks” section of your web browser. Instead of being computer based, these are web based. This allows you access to your bookmarks from anywhere with an internet connection and browser. A major advantage is that you do not have to remember which computer you saved your bookmarks. They are all always available (from any computer in the library and also at home or while travelling).

Another aspect of social bookmarking is the manner in which you may organize your bookmarks. You can assign “Tags” to your bookmarks. This allows you to sort your bookmarks and also share them with others using the same social bookmarking software. For example, if you are interested in library instruction, you could do a search within del.ic.ious. and get a listing of web sites that have been given the tags of “library instruction”. For this section we will look at individuals that have tagged the University of Waterloo Library Homepage.

What’s the difference? Choosing the right social bookmarking site

Del.ic.ious is one of the more popular sites and the one that we will be using for this section. A larger (though not comprehensive list) follows. If you are interested, try out several of the social bookmarking sites.

  • – popular social bookmarking site. User tagged (search without quote marks).
  • Connotea – “Free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists”. User tagged .
  • CiteULike – “a free online source to organise your academic papers”. User tagged.
  • google – Keyworded.
  • dogpile – compiles searches from many search engines. Keyworded.
  • zuula – compiles searches from many search engines. Keyworded.
  • kartoo – outputs sites visually as a series of “maps”. Keyworded with interelationship of terms shown.

How can I use social bookmarking in the library?

Social bookmarking will allow you to have all of your selected bookmarks travel with you. It will also allow you to share bookmarks with students and co-workers easily and efficiently. You no longer need to e-mail links, you can just let people discover ones in your profile.


Activity #1 Create your account on del.ic.ious (video of activity 1)

Register at . (Pay attention to the password requirements)

Activity #2 install the Firefox extension or toolbar buttons (video of activity 2)

Install the Firefox extension, or the buttons on your toolbar.

If you are using Internet Explorer in the library then you may need to call the Help Desk to install the buttons for you. However, Firefox should allow you to install without administrative rights.

Activity #3 import/add a bookmark and tag it (video of activity 3)

Select one of the bookmarks on your computer (or library home page ) using one of these options

  • Right clicking on the link to the page and selecting “tag this link”
  • Going to the page and then going to the top of your browser and selecting the “” menu and choosing “tag this page”
  • Going to the page and then choosing the “post to” button at the top of the page
  • Going to your account at and selecting “post” and pasting in the URL

Add a description. Often cutting and pasting a paragraph from the page saved is useful.

Add tag(s) and save.

Next time you are on a webpage you would like to save for later or find again, save it to

Activity #4 add this page as a bookmark

If you want to receive a certificate at the end of the Web 2.0 training, please send a screen shot of your Delicious page to libweb20@library… To create a screen shot either use the program “Snag it” or you can use your keyboard command ALT + Print Screen to capture the image.

1. Check out the items saved under other accounts
2. Check out who else has saved the University of Waterloo library homepage and click on their profiles to see what else they have saved.

Other resources:

Social Bookmarking in Plain English


This post is based on The Learning 2.0@Mac program.


  1. ahitchen Said,

    April 6, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    FYI, this post was created by Tim Ireland.

  2. Michele Laing Said,

    April 17, 2009 @ 10:17 am

    I find it interesting that no Architecture students have bookmarked the Musagetes Library homepage in delicious. What could this mean? I know many of them have Facebook pages and upload photos to Flickr. Perhaps our students are too busy to use delicious?

  3. Margaret Yuen Said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 10:12 am

    Thanks Tim for this module. I found the videos very helpful.


  4. Janet Wason Said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 3:37 pm

    Thanks for this–the unit was very helpful. However, for Activity 1, it took me 5 tries to type in the correct letter/number combination successfully in order to create my account on–very, very frustrating. And I didn’t see any audio or other alternatives, beyond the offer to contact the staff. Very poor in terms of accessibility–I am identifying this lack as a barrier for more than one kind of disability.

  5. Cornelia Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 10:33 am

    I just have a quick question…

    When I try to install the bookmark buttons I keep receiving an error message during the installation.

    I’m not sure if it is because I don’t have the proper rights on this machine to download or if it is because I am doing something wrong…

    Thanks Tim for this module!

  6. ahitchen Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 10:50 am

    Question: why do I receive an error message during installation of the bookmark buttons?

    Answer: Firefox allows you to install buttons without administrative priveleges but for Internet Explorer we don’t have the rights to install the buttons. Try doing this exercise in Firefox or call the Help Desk and ask them to install the buttons for you.

    I will update the instructions in the activity!

  7. Zsuzsanna Lancsak Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

    It was fun. I have to be careful not to become addicted to web2.0.

  8. Laura Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    How long to I have to wait for my bookmarks to appear in delicious? I have reloaded the page several times and it doesn’t seem to be working. I can see a sidebar menu in firefox with my bookmarks and tags but in delicious this is not appearing…hmmm. Maybe I need a little patients??


  9. Sandra Said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

    I’m with Laura. The library’s homepage went in fine, but i’ve tried all 4 options for this page to no avail. Goodness only knows what i did the first time around…obviously, beginner’s luck.

  10. ahitchen Said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 7:34 am

    Q: How long to I have to wait for my bookmarks to appear in delicious?

    A: They should appear immediately. I’ll have a look in Firefox and see what happens for me!

  11. ahitchen Said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    Comment: The library’s homepage went in fine, but i’ve tried all 4 options for this page to no avail.

    Answer: I was able to add this page. I think there may be a newer version of the add-on because instead of “Tag this page” the option is “Bookmark this page” in the delicious menu.

    was also able to add using the little “tag” icon. Firefox added 3 icons: the delicious icon takes you to your account, the bookmarks icon takes you to your account with a browsing section on the left and the tag icon lets you actually add new things to your bookmarks.

    If you would like one of us to stop by your desk and take a look at your set-up we would be happy to do so!

  12. Mark Spencer Said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    I had set up a del.ic.ious account a couple of years ago (encouraged by that guy in the instructional video – Tim…, no, Dan Sich). I realized I had stopped using it but was a bit surprised at how long ago it was (early 2008!). But I can see, thanks to you, how much useful this will be to me now.

    Thank you!

  13. Agnes Said,

    April 22, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

    Thanks Tim for excellent instructions but I have to agree with Janet! Registering on . was very, very painful! I know it will pass, but at this point I feel like I don’t want to use it ever again…

  14. Sandra Said,

    April 23, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

    thanks, alison. in the end, though, I tried a totally different option, which worked perfectly. I noticed a link “save a new bookmark” and clicked on that and was able to paste in the url for this page et voila! the 2.0 world moves too quickly! 🙂

  15. Marian Davies Said,

    April 28, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    Thanks for this — it’s good to see new bookmarking tools.

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