The past few days, I've spent some quality time thinking about social bookmarking.
Here's why: the "required studies" in both of my 8-week summer session classes presented lengthy lists of readings that were often in the form of PDFs and web pages. The next two courses in the Summer Session, that officially start Monday, are no different. One area in which I struggled these past eight weeks was organizing (and annotating) all of this material.
Because the "scholarly research" and writing process for the courses loops back with frequent regularity, I have decided that I need a simpler system. Referring back to the BlackBoard LMS only ends in frustration. The links to these articles in BlackBoard are neatly packed into folders for each week, but the links open a series of tabs > Library > Database > etc.
Previously, I downloaded the PDFs and saved them to Google Drive folders for ease of reference, but I found the PDF comment/copy feature a little clunky. Simply reading a PDF on a small screen is torture, and annotating is an exercise in futility. Really, what I want is to eliminate the PDF component altogether. And, surprisingly there are practically no "social bookmarking" sites in operation in 2019 although the use of "social media" has been steadily increased for year. I'm not sure what that says about society...that's a commentary for another blog post. I just want a functional markup tool that allows me to stayed organized, and maybe collaborate.
I have used Pinboard ("Social Bookmarking for Introverts!") for over ten years, and I love it. But, it's not built for markup and lengthy annotation. I almost forgot that del.icio.us (remember that site?) was purchased by Yahoo! and eventually by Pinboard. And, that made me think of Diigo. Diigo works great for annotating, but I'm still on the fence about paying for the upgrade. After all, it's been about ten years since I've used Diigo extensively. It's a good stop-gap solution for now. At least Diigo allows me to tag, sort, and organize the web pages and PDFs, and it allows me to share them for collaborative assignments.
But, I worry about file size and storage. I don't want to pay extra to host a massive list of bloated PDFs. Maybe the answer is to find an open-source solution that would allow me to convert a PDF to Markdown. Smaller file sizes and easily stored within Drive. Maybe I just host my own...