Friday, November 28, 2008 - bookmarking and social networking

I'm experimenting with, which is a newish bookmarking and social networking site. That is, it's a combination of (and the like) and (a rather simple) Facebook sort of thing.

The social networking isn't anywhere as nearly comprehensive as Facebook, but it's the same idea. The bookmarking, on the other hand, is as spiffy as and others of that genre, with extras.

Bookmarks are organizied into groups called "twines", which can be public or private, and typically cover some recognizable topic area, or whatever people want to use them for. Each bookmark can also have a description and any number of tags, specified by the user creating the bookmark. Each bookmark also allows for comments, which anyone may add.

Underlying all this is "semantic web" technology. It's a cool computer-sciencey set of concepts and conventions for organizing heterogeneous collections of data in a way that (supposedly) is easier to search and navigate than the existing anarchy of Web pages, blog posts, etc. But I'm still waiting to see some compelling practical results...

In any case, I've set up some twines that I will use for bookmarking interesting scientific articles I come across. These items tend to be fairly non-technical, intended for an interested but not highly specialized audience, rather than articles from professional, refereed journals.

If you follow any of the links below, you will have to register with Twine, and should then get to see the various bookmark collections. You may choose to "join" any of the twines, which simply means that the system will keep track of the ones you have joined so you can visit them later. There is an option for receiving email notification of additions to individual twines. You can start your own twines too, if you like.

The social networking part is that you can set up a personal profile for youself, with whatever information you are willing to share. You can find out which other users have joined the same twines as you have, and "connect" with them if you have shared interests, as on Facebook or similar systems.

So, this is just an experiment to see if there is interest in something of this sort for groups of bookmarks to possibily interesting articles that deal with many of the topics written about here. If there doesn't seem to be much interest, or if I find it's too time consuming to be worth the effort, I'll stop.

On the other hand, if people give it a try, suggesting bookmarks of their own that are appropriate for one of the following twines, if desired, then maybe the experiment will yield something worthwhile.

You can leave comments to this post if you have questions or suggestions. Alternatively, you can send messages to other users on Twine itself.

Current twines I've started:

Scientific Readings: Neuroscience

Scientific Readings: Medical Biology and Biotechnology

Scientific Readings: Physics

Scientific Readings: Mathematics

Scientific Readings: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology


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