Simple Tools, Multiple Uses.
An open letter to Walter Mossberg.
Mossberg!I saw your recent column on Foxmarks.Saving your solitary bookmarks, keeping them private, sorting them in a tree-and-folder structure, worrying about moving them around--that is so adorable, so web 1.0. As if they're mp3's you bought that you can't legally share.Dude--get social! It's the Age of Obama.
- SHARE your bookmarks.
- TAG them, don't put them in folders.
- LEARN from the wisdom of crowds what's up-and-coming.Use Delicious!Tag sites with your OWN tags--whatever you like. Forget folders--where a page is in one folder OR another. Tags let you imagine each website page as an intersection or multiple properties. They're your own tags--so you can use your own folksonomy. (Google it).Add comments. Give your HO (humble opinion). Ballyhoo a site, or just set yourself a reminder.Your links are shared with everyone--and you can search to see what other people are finding, tagging and sharing.Or make your tags private. It's your choice.The web is a social medium. You should use it that way.Best,Edward O'Neill, Ph.D.Instructional Media SpecialistStanford UniversityP.S. I'm normally skeptical of the pro-social media rhetoric. But the point I think is always right is: a general use tool that's simple is almost always better than a tool dedicated to ONE function.Saving and syncing bookmarks--that's one function. Tagging, sharing, publishing--that's a general use.Look at Twitter. It publishes SMS-size tidbits. But people can use it as email, microblogging, marketing, brand management, citizen journalism, trend monitoring--you name it.In Web 2.0 the specialized tool is almost never as powerful as the simple tool with a hundred uses.