Rediscovering Playlists…

Yesterday, I had a quick peek at the beta version of SocialLearn (currently open to OU staff, at least…). A key feature of the site are “learning paths”, ordered sets of annotated resources with associated progress status indicators:

I haven’t yet had a proper play with the site yet, so a will hold off a review of the site just for now, but my first glimpse reaction to that feature was: “isn’t that what H2O Playlists did?”

(I thought I must have posted some sort of review of H20 Playlists, “shared list[s] of readings and other content about a topic of intellectual interest”, but it seems I only made passing mention of them. However, I do remember creating several H2O playlists as a way of curating links associated with several presentations I gave when I was trying to advocate the use of social bookmarking in education. (For a review of H20 Playlists posted elsewhere around the same time, see More on H20 Playlist as a Social Bookmarking Tool for Business.)

H2O Playlists

Hmmm.. it seems I misremembered: you couldn’t check off progress on the playlist items, though you could save items off one list onto your own playlist, and you could also discover “related lists” that shared some of the same items.

Also yesterday, I came across the BBC Food Recipe Binder site:

BBC Food Recipe Binder

This site lets you save, and annotate, recipes on the BBC Food site to a personal “Recipe Binder” page from an on-page call to action button.

BBC Food - Recipe Binder

(Okay, so the Recipe Binder isn’t a playlist, but it is an example of embedded bookmarking/personal curation of web resources…)

And then, today, I fire up my feeds to see all sorts of chatter about the delicious website redesign, a key feature of which appears to be… stacks (aka playlists:

The mechanics for putting together the playlists still seem a bit clunky (do I really need to add three links to create a new playlist?) but I guess it’s still early days… Anyway, here’s my first playlist stack: Crafty Stats…

Suddenly, it seems like 2005 again…

Twitter Integration Means Delicious Social Bookmarking Site Gets, Err, Social…(?!)

In order to keep track of the dozens of snippets of potentially useful info I come across through m browser each week, I us the delicious online (social) bookmarking sit as a place to dump most of my bookmarks. Three or four times a week (maybe more?), I use my tags to rediscover things I remember bookmarking, and maybe once a month I actually use the delicious search option.

In order to save bookmarks, I used to use the integrated service provided by the flock browser, but in one particular update they made a change I really didn’t get on with (to the dialogue box, I think) and now I tend to use the delicious bookmarklet.

(I’ve also become pretty cavalier about which browser I use – I typically have Flock, Safari and Firefox open, and @dmje was hassling me all last week to use Chrome as well… – so with a bookmarklet on each browser, I get a consistent experience.)

As someone who used to send “FYI” emails out every so often, one of the ways I use twitter is to share potentially interesting or “of the moment” links; I also use a feedthru tag to post one or two links per day, (typically), to my blog sidebar (those links also gt integrated on a daily basis with my blog’s Feedburner feed). Note also that I rarely use the for: option on delicious, possibly because I don’t look at what’s been shared with me very often!

Anyway, one of the hassles with my workflow is the duplicated action required to both tweet and bookmark a link. But it seems that the delicious bookmarklet now has a sharing capability both within and without the delicious ecosystem. (I’m not sure if this is a Good Thing, or a delicious death throe?)

So for example, I can share a bookmark with my delicious network:

social delicious

Or tweet it (it’ll be interesting whether I adopt this workflow…):

So what message gets tweeted? The tweet message, of course:

Note that once the bookmark is saved, there is no evidence or history of it being tweeted. Nor are any of the tags used as hashtags. (If you add a hashtag to the tweet, I don’t think it gets added to the bookmark tags as a simple ‘dehashed’ tag (or hashtag.)

When the link is tweeted, a new delicious shortcode is used:

One Bad Thing about the Twitter integration – you have to provide your twitter credentials. So what the f**k is wrong with OAuth?!

As well as the new social/network amplification options in the bookmark dialogue, there’s also been a revamp (I think) of the search facility:

As well as suggested terms, an improved search display over your own bookmarks, your network’s, or everyone’s, there’s an ability to filter the results by tag. I have to admit I expected live AJAXy UI updates – I didn’t see the effect of filtering by tag unless I clicked the Search button again – but it’s maybe still early days and the live reflow may yet appear. (Or maybe it is there already and just broken for me at the mo?!)

I’m not sure how useful the volume display will be (memories of Google trends etc, there), especially as it only works when you only have one group selected (i.e. only one of my bookmarks, or my network’s, or all of them) and doesn’t reflow when you change the selection? I also wonder how well the ads will fare against the user generated links?

Anyway this is starting to look like it could become quite a powerful search tool, so maybe I need to start growing my delicious network and evangelising once more… (Just a quick note to self – if I do a social bookmarking workshop again, I need to update my slides [uploaded 3 years ago? Sheesh…] ;-)

And as for the twitter integration – I think I’ll give it a go…

PS on the search engine front, I was thinking over the weekend how the mythical ‘social search engine’ that people were trying to hype a year or two ago has actually appeared. But rather than arising out of ‘dead links’ posted to delicious, it’s a live ‘person inside’ application: Twitter.

PPS at last there’s an official announcement post: New and Delicious: Search, Tweet, and Discover the Freshest Bookmarks