UKOLN AHDS Use Of Social Tagging Services At Events

About This Document

This document describes how social tagging services can be used to enrich events such as conferences and workshops. The document provides examples of how social tagging services can be used; advice on best practices and details of a number of case studies.

Use Of Social Tagging Services At Events

Social tagging services, such as social bookmarking services (e.g. and photo sharing services (e.g. Flickr) would appear to have much to offer events such as conferences and workshops, as such events, by definition, are intended for groups of individuals with shared interests.

Since many events used to support the development of digital library services nowadays take place in venues in which WiFi network is available, such events are ideal for exploiting the potential of social tagging services.

Examples of how social tagging can be used at events include:

Proving Links To Resources:
Making use of social bookmarking services such as enables resources mentioned in presentations to be more easily accessed (no need for speakers to waste time spelling out long URLs).
Finding Related Resources:
Use of social bookmarking services such as enable resources related to those provided by the speaker to be more easily found.
Contributing Related Resources:
Use of social bookmarking services such as enable participants to provide additional resources related to those provided by the speaker.
Evaluation And Impact Analysis:
Use of a standard tag for an event can enable Blog postings, photographs and other resources related to the event to be quickly found, using services such as Technorati. This can help assist the evaluation and impact analysis for an event.
Community Building:
Use of photo sharing services such as Flickr can enable participants at an event to share their photographs of the event.

Best Practices

Issues to be addressed when using social networking services at events include:

Selecting The Services
You should inform participants of the recommend services and, ideally, provide an example of the benefits to the participants, especially if they are unfamiliar with them.
Defining Your Tags
You should provide a recommended tag for your event, and possibly a format for use of the tag if more than one tag is to be used. You should try to ensure that your tag is unambiguous and avoids possible clashes with other uses of the tag. Note that use of dates can help to disambiguate tags.
Be Aware Of Possible Dangers
You should be aware of possible dangers and limitations of the services, and inform your participants of such limitations. This may include possible spamming of the services; data protection and privacy issues; long term persistence of the services; etc.

Case Study - IWMW 2006

The Institutional Web Management Workshop 2006, held at the University of Bath on 14-16th June 2006, made extensive use of social bookmarking services:

Standardised Tags
The tag iwmw2006 was recommended for use in social bookmarking services. Tags for plenary talks and parallel sessions had the format iwmw2006-plenary-speaker and iwmw2006-parallel-facilitator.
The IWMW 2006 Web site was bookmarked on (this allowed the event organisers to observe other who had bookmarked the Web site in order to monitor communities of interest). In addition, speakers and workshop facilitators were invited to use for key resources mentioned in their talks.
Participants who took photographs at the event were encouraged to tag the photographs with the tag iwmw2006 if they uploaded their photos to services such as Flickr.
Event Evaluation and Impact Assessment Using Technorati
The impact of the workshop was evaluated by using the Technorati service to find Blog postings which made use of the iwmw2006 tag.
Aggregation Using Suprglu
The various social bookmarking services which used the recommended tag were aggregated by the Suprglu service at the URL <>.