The Working Life of Links

I know there are potentially unlimited uses for del.icio.us. A link brings a change and a change brings potential. I am waiting to see a del.icio.us hypertext, or an ARG that includes a del.icio.us RSS feed. Anything is possible. I also realize after reflecting on my last post about del.icio.us that my own collection of links is very far from exemplary. I will however plough on and perhaps stimulate some discussion around what I think is quite interesting; what can one do with a bunch of del.icio.us links?

I am a researcher here at HUMlab. I spend a lot of time reading and searching. I organize the online material I find useful in my del.icio.us links. Many of the subjects I am interested in have little directly to do with my official thesis topic but I think they are important. I toss them together, arranged somewhat like I described in my previous post. I also teach and in teaching I have found del.icio.us to be useful as a way of filtering information for students and making accessible for them. Take for example my links on The Waste Land by T. S Eliot. There are only ten of them. This is a manageable amount for a lecture or a week or two of course work on, for example, The Waste Land: Collage, Hypertext and the Nodes of Meaning. I could refer to examples from the del.icio.us links or use them as a resource for the students to continue working through set papers or group work outside class time. With a del.icio.us I can send a student to or answer an inquiry with a preserved record of my own online inquiry in the area. My links can also benefit from contact with others working in the area, whether in the classroom or online.One topic that is very much about my research is digital story telling. I use a few tags to cover this area of knowledge; DigitalText, InteractiveFiction, Cybertext, and DigitalDiscourse mainly. However if I had known how one can organize a tag feed. An example of this is digitalstorytelling, a popular tag coordinated by such people as Phil Shapiro:

If you’d like to keep track of low-cost and no-cost tools for creating media, two places to follow are http://unmediated.org/ and http://del.icio.us/tag/unmediated. Submit your own media creations to del.icio.us, and we can continue learning from each other. Tag your creation: digitalstorytelling (without the space) and/or usergroups computertraining. One of the best ways of keeping track of your favorite del.icio.us tags is to subscribe to those tags using Bloglines (RSS aggregator/reader) or Squeet (email alert service for rss feeds.). For example, I use Bloglines to subscribe to the digitalstorytelling tag at del.icio.us http://del.icio.us/tag/digitalstorytelling

From http://www.archive.org/details/multimediastorytelling

The amount of information that can flow in your direction from this network tagging is very great. Looking at the list for items tagged with digitalstorytelling, it is a river of information powered by a large network of contributors.

Back to my research, I am presently finishing off a Table of Contents for the thesis I have largely yet to write. The chapters are all planned around specific subject areas. Since I began working on my thesis I had been using tags generally on del.icio.us to collect information. The one specific tag I used for the thesis was Corpus, dealing with the 6 texts that comprise my corpus. It has served me well but I plan now to break it up into 5 new tags, one for each chapter of the thesis. I intend to use these tags as files for sources and threads to do with topics discussed in each chapter.

Finally there is advertising. There are many people who watch the links of others. If you can give a link an interesting description and it is picked up by others it will climb up the popular links page. This is network presence that may return greatly. I add sites to my del.icio.us just because they belong to a friend or I think other people should see them, they enter into the del.icio.us matrix and who knows where they may end up. A recent internet contact told me he gets a good amount of traffic to his website from del.icio.us, where they download his self published poetry and novels.

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