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Archive for the ‘tags and categories’ Category

This could be my new best friend. I have known about this for a few years as our Academic Skills tutor uses it and I kept thinking, ‘I really must use it for my teaching’. But I never got around to doing to so my poor students have had a series of handouts each year with lists of websites on which of course they might well lose and I have to find and edit and print out again each year.

It could also solve my recent problem as I have been trying to update the resources list on Blackboard  for an online module that I have just started working with. I find Blackboard very difficult to use – I have just uploaded my 5 resources to Delicious in about 15 minutes and the ‘Save to Delicious’ button I now have on my toolbar is wonderful. It took me hours to do the resources section on Blackboard, copying and pasting URLs in from different sites when I could have just put one link – see my Delicious site! I also really liked the way that they suggested tags and they were always very relevant meaning I just had to click on them rather than type in my own.

One very minor point – the Common Craft video was excellent again. I love the way they use paper and animation to explain technology – that amuses me and I think it is very effective but the buttons they described in the video were not the same ones I ended up with on my toolbar. Not  a problem for me but may confuse some.

I am very much enjoying exploring all these new tools – only problem is I can see myself staying up way past my bedtime to play with them all!Oh and I have just noticed ‘the how many other people have bookmarked this site’ tab and have just looked at some of their bookmarks and that is going to be really useful – may be getting no sleep at all.

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I think tags – along with categories and a Category Cloud which you can add through the Widgets on your blog (go into Appearance then Widgets and drag the label in to to the right hand side of the page) are really useful things.

 As Sue said in her post you sometimes don’t know what tags you need until you have done a lot of posts so I have found I have add to add tags and re-tag. The one thing I did find out by experience is that WordPress tagged all my personal blog posts as ‘uncategorized’ by default (this blog doesn’t seem to be doing that) and I didn’t notice so when I did put in a Category Cloud I had loads of uncategorized posts that I had to go and remove the tag from manually – a huge pain!

I think they do give order to the reader of the blog as they help them focus on what is most important in that blog. I like the way the Category Cloud looks as well from an aesthetic point of view . I like to see on blogs which is the biggest category as that helps me decide if to read it further or not which is important if you get there by a random search. There might be only 1 post on the topic that you want to read or 300 and this helps represent that visually and give you a quick link in. Most of the blogs I read regularly have been going for 3 or 4 years and have hundreds of posts so it saves lots of time. I don’t think the Category Cloud is a feature on all blog platforms though unless people don’t use it.

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