Read it when you need it!


This post was triggered by a tweet from Jess McCulloch (@jessmcculloch) that initiated a train of thought much longer than suggested by her original question.

Jess’s tweet  raised the issue of the “Read later” tag/list asking does anyone get round to their “Read later”s. I sent a reply to the effect that I never use “Read later” options as I know perfectly well that I will never read them! This started me thinking about what I do actually do with respect to dealing with the myriad links and posts that cross my desktop each day.

My online “imperatives”

These are some of my personal strategies (other than using an iGoogle page for easy access to many things):

  • Don’t try to read/view (or promise myself to read/view) everything that passes across my desktop.
  • Don’t collect “read later” lists because I know I won’t do it.
  • Have in my GoogleReader feed only very few feeds from blogs I have a particular reason to follow. Even then I don’t expect to read them all in depth or even at all.
  • Skim anything that attracts my immediate attention eg from the title or topic mentions and then tag with Diigo. That way I can find it with a search of my Diigo tags.
  • Adopt a read it when I need it approach – hence skimming & tagging in Diigo for those items that interest me at first glance rather than reading them in depth.
  • Adopt a find it when I need it approach – use my search skills to find what I need when I need it then tag in Diigo for future use. This saves me inordinate amounts of time as I rarely read, and therefore don’t catalogue/tag, an item until I need it.

  • Use different bookmarking applications for different purposes – for example all my virtual room links and a number of frequent access sites are saved via Google Bookmarks for easy access whereas I use Diigo for web pages, blog posts etc that need to be tagged for me to find relevant ones.
  • Never re-share, re-tweet, re-post links without reading or at least skimming them first! This is one reason that I don’t re-tweet often. I know it is counter to the way most people operate on Twitter but I am unwilling to re-share anything I haven’t accessed myself!
  • With anything that gives me a daily/weekly email of updates I rarely open these until I want information from them. I simply file them in a folder labelled with the source and then access & keyword search the folder.


I think I am lucky in that I remember key information relating to things that interest me (I have a magpie mind) even if they have only been briefly mentioned or have been submerged in other content. Also I am  a relatively good “searcher” and usually find it easy to access the information I need quite quickly when I need it!.

Edublogs webinar overview – online/social bookmarking Diigo & Symbaloo

Advance Notice

We invite you to our Christmas Party on 15th/16th December – come along with virtual “goodies” for the festive table, and if you feel inventive bring a game to share and play. After the party the webinars will be taking a two week break returning on 5th/6th January with the first Serendipity session of 2012!

PS We have been shortlisted for the Edublogs awards Thank you so much if you nominated us. If you want to vote for us (Serendipity/FineFocus Webinars in Edublogs awards click HERE to go to the site and see nominations


This recorded, session was a look at bookmarking. I recently did a session for my colleagues on this and thought it might be worth sharing more broadly through Fine Focus.

The Session

My first task was to find out how many of us use bookmarking and which applications we use. It turned out unsurprisingly that most of us use an application to capture our favourite links. We moved on to look at the two applications beginning with Diigo. I moved all my bookmarks to Diigo a few months ago during the uncertainly about the future of Delicious. I shared my screen to look at and talk about how I am currently using Diigo. I find it works well for me and that the opportunity to highlight and sticky note links is useful because I have a lot of links with almost the same tags so seeing a couple of summarising lines really helps. I am just starting to use groups and was delighted that @TracyWatanabe was with us and willing to talk about how she uses groups extensively.

Moving on to discuss Symbaloo was an interesting contrast because Symbaloo is very visual. Again I shared my screen to show how it enables links to be organised, colour coded, categorised symbolically. It doesn’t work in quite the same way as Diigo in that you don’t simply store a link with a click on a toolbar, you have to create a tile and put it in a webmix (category) which is a bit more time consuming. However you can create great visual collections that you can share with others.

We finished with a brief look at favourite bookmarking apps and how we use them.


I enjoyed doing this session although I felt I that perhaps I should have modified it more – when I talked about bookmarks with my colleagues I was largely talking with an audience who don’t use them so I included the signup. I find the contrast between the two applications is interesting and feel personally that Diigo is the one I will continue to use for most bookmarking but that I will increasingly use Symbaloo for sharing – especially with students because it is so visual!

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday December 8that 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday December 9th at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic.