Reflection on Action Learning at CP2 Workshop: Tagging and Delicious

NetSquared's picture

I  "met" Andy Roberts via CP2 web2.0 online workshop - which was fantastic.  His reflections remind me that  I wish I could have immersed myself in all the content (which was enormous) for the entire month, but those exercises and discussions that I managed to swoop into provided me with significant learning.    Particularly the tagging discussion which included an action learning exercise as well as lot of sharing of resources and information about tagging. 

It also reminded me that I haven't posted my own reflection -- it was sitting half written in my draft drawer .....

What I liked about the workshop experience was the combination of people and views -- we had some who were somewhat new to tagging and others who have been doing it for a while.  It was great to engage with the "newbie" experience of tagging and delicious and hear the reactions (both good and bad.)   Also, the process of how people wrapped their brains around it or not.  It gives you insights into the personal change process that is required to adopt or internalize new tools. 

The exercise went something like this and it struck me that if I ever taught a workshop on how to use tagging that I would definitely do something like this, tailored to the group's interests of course.

  1. Think of at least three people who have influenced you the most in your work in communities of practice.
  2. Go to del.icio.us, a social bookmarking or tagging tool, and create an account (if you don't already have one).
  3. Go to a link or resource that you most associate with each of your influential people and post and tag the link in your my del.icio.us. We ask you to use at least 4 tags (preferably 6 or so) one of of which must be "CoP+maven" (chosen as an already blank tag set).
  4. In your my del.icio.us page explore out to see where and to whom your tag links take you.
  5. Come back later, give the system time to update, and spend a brief time exploring the search aspects of your tags, others linked tags and the common tags. Do a search on our prescribed tag CoP+maven or use this URL http://del.icio.us/tag/"CoP+maven"
  6. When finished return here and reflect on your experience. Let's see where this shared task leads us!

This lead to us some deeper reflection questions:

  • Is popularity (frequency of the number of people who bookmark a link) an indication of quality?
  • Is using more tags beneficial to finding or sharing or a hindrance?
  • Did I discover resources that I would not have discovered if I did a google search on COP or communities of practice experts and all the combinations there of?
  • Do you have to be disciplined and structured in your search methods/approach to reap benefits from Delicious or is a non-linear approach useful - or does it depend on the user?
  • How can keep from getting so distracted with this tool!
  • Does having more tags help you find something faster or does it get in the way?
  • The one aspect of delicious that frustrates me is when I find another user whose bookmarks are of great interest to me, I want to know more about them. Many times only userids are given, not their blogs or affiliations.

The discusison thread on sharing resources was amazing ... it's going to take me months to digest.  I also shared some of the pointers to the NPTECH tag experiment and was glad that Andy and others found it useful:

1) The story about community developing around the nptech tag.

Reading through Beth Kanter's H20 playlist allowed me to see the shape of how this process unfolded, thus bringing a whole new idea into my mind. It is significant because once this possibility is understood, then the senses are alerted to the pattern and may be able to spot opportunities for intervening to help a similar process along. The elegance in the naming of the evolved tag name "nptech