Beth Kanter continues our bloggespondence on social bookmarking with the very well-taken point that a prettier (my summary of Jots may actually be worth something if it makes social bookmarking useful to a wider audience, though as she notes herself the biggest challenge in evangelizing is that its bookmark collections thin out very quickly once you get beyond core geek interests like Linux or blogging. Beth’s approach is to provide people with a
“ cheat sheet” — please, Beth, share it with the world! — but I wonder whether the geekocracy could help in another way: by making an extra special effort to tag non-geeky topics. If every user were to make an effort to bookmark 10 resources on a non-geeky subject of personal interest– and not with some general tag like “politics” or “books”, but something specific like “culturejamming” or “socialsecurity” — it would rapidly expand the utility of for non-geeks, and help atttract others to the tool.

Beth had a couple of other questions for me:

  • What’s your take on “site-independent taggregation” services arena? As of yesterday, when Technorati launched its beta makeover, things are looking up. It’s now possible to pull an RSS feed that aggregates categorized posts from different blogs, by using the Technorati tag page. But aggregating bookmark tags is still a tag-by-tag, site-by-site job. While I know there are those who see aggregation as “reblogging” — i.e. free riding on someone else’s hard work — I think that there’s an important role for topical aggregators right now (at least until we get the social bookmarking equivalent of Technorati’s RSS feed for blog tags). By setting up a page that aggregates tags from multiple bookmarking sites to capture the full range of bookmarking for a given topic or set of tags, you can create a page that offers real value for people tracking that topic. That’s what I did with the very modest OD 2005 page of deliberation links.
  • You described JOTS urls-to-tags ratio as impressive (2:1). Why is it impressive? How does it compare to Actually I didn’t describe it as impressive (it isn’t). I just thought it was a neat stat to display.