Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ning: Customizing your MyPage Profile

Depending on how your Ning community has been set up by the administrator(s), you may have various options for customizing your MyPage Profile. Here are some possibilities!

MyPage. First, start by clicking on the My Page tab in order to access your Profile page.

Edit Latest Activity. One of the first things you may want to do to clean up your Profile page is to stop displaying the latest activity, since it takes up a lot of space on the page. To stop displaying Latest Activity, click on the Edit button in the upper right-hand corner of the box, and then set the display to zero. Click Save. Your Latest Activity box will not be displayed any more. although you can still see the Edit button if you want to change the settings again later.

Edit Blog Display. Your blog can also take up a lot of space on the page, so you might want to set the blog display on the Profile page to show titles only. You can also change the number of blog post titles which are displayed - or even set it to zero. Just click on the Edit button, choose your settings, and click Save when you are done. And don't worry: even if you do not display your blog on the Profile page, people can still access your blog by clicking on the Blog button at the top of the page or by clicking on a direct link to your blog.

TextBox. You probably have a Textbox somewhere on the page that you can use to add all kinds of materials - dynamic widgets, embedded YouTube videos, list of links, images, text, whatever you want. To add to or edit the contents of the just click on the Edit icon.

Drag and drop. Although there are some limitations on where you can drag and drop the different modules on your page, you probably have at least some ability to move things around. To see what is possible, just hover your mouse at the left-hand corner of the label on any of the modules. When you see the little directional icon appear, that means the box can be moved.

Click with your left mouse to activate a larger version of the directional icon, and use it to drag the box (now outlined) to the location you want on the page.


RSS Feed. You may have a box on the page where you can add an RSS Feed, pulling in content from your own blog, or from some other blog or news source that has an RSS feed. When you click on Edit, the RSS Feed box will open, allowing you to enter the name of the feed, the feed address, along with some options for configuring just how much of the feed is displayed. Don't forget to hit the Save button when you are done.


Theme. In many Ning communities, you have the option to choose a distinctive theme to use on your page. You can change the theme as often as you want, since changing the theme does not alter the content of the page - it just changes the way that it looks. To change the page theme, just click where it says Change Theme, directly below your personal image. You will see there is a wide range of themes to choose from!


Just choose the theme you want to try, and make sure you click on Save at the bottom of the page to apply the theme and see how it looks!

Those are just some of the features which are available on MyPage Ning profiles - you may have additional options available, too, depending on how your specific Ning community is set up. :-)


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Ning: Accepting a Ning.com invitation

This blog post has moved to the Online Course Lady wiki.

Firefox Add-On: FireFTP

I mentioned previously that I just upgraded to Firefox 3 now that some of the add-ons I consider essential in my workday have become available. One such essential add-on for me is the FTP utility, FireFTP. Although I do most of my publishing now at hosted sites, such as Blogger.com and PBWiki.com, I also have some server space which I pay for at a couple of domains (mythfolklore.net, bestlatin.net), and I also have a tiny amount of webspace available to me through my university. When I want to quickly publish something to any of those webspaces, FireFTP is what I use!

Here are some notes about how to use FireFTP:

1. Download and install the FireFTP plug-in by going to the FireFTP webpage and following the instructions there. (For this to work, you must already have installed the Firefox browser on your computer.)

2. Start FireFTP. After you have installed FireFTP, it will show up under the Tools Menu in your Firefox browser. After you click the FireFTP option in tool menu, a screen will pop up showing two panels - one panel contains all the files on your local computer, and the other panel will contain the files on the remote location.

4. Creating a new account. The first time you connect to a server as your remote location, you need to click on Manage Accounts, and then select New. You only need to do this once; after you create this New account, you will be able to use it whenever you want to access that particular webspace.

When you select New from the Manage Accounts menu, a dialog box will pop up. You need to enter the name of this account ("My Such-and-Such Webspace" or something like that), and you need to enter the name of the remote server, your username and password. This information should be provided by the administrator for your webspace.

University of Oklahoma: If you are an OU student, the name of your server is students.ou.edu. If you are a faculty or staff member at OU, your OU webspace is faculty-staff.ou.edu. For the login, enter your OUNet ID (4x4), and for the password, enter your regular OU password for the password to the account.

5. Connect to account. Now you should see the new account show up in the Accounts box, and you can click on Connect to connect to your account.

6. Manage files. When you connect successfully, you should see all your webpage and image files in the remote location panel.

  • To navigate from folder to folder, just click on the folder you want to open, and you will see the files and subfolders displayed.
  • You can use the arrows pointing between the two panels to move files between your local computer and the remote location.
  • To delete a file, just right-mouse click and choose the DELETE option.
  • For additional features and functions, click on the Help link in the upper-right-hand corner of the FireFTP window.

7. Don't forget to close the connection! When you are done, make sure you close the FireFTP tab in your browser.

FireFTP has many other features as well, although for quick and easy publishing to your web server, this is all you need to know!


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ning.com: Logging in

This post has moved to the Online Course Lady wiki.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Firefox 3 - and Whitehart Theme

I finally upgraded to Firefox browser, version 3, after waiting for the last of the add-ons I consider essential to become available for this latest version of Firefox (I'll be profiling some of those add-ons in future posts). What I wanted to write about today was not about add-ons, though, but about choosing a theme for Firefox.

When I installed Firefox 3, I was surprised to discover how much I did not like the default theme! That was unexpected for me, since I've always been a user of Mozilla products and have always felt comfortable enough with the default themes that I have not messed with any of the available custom themes.

Well, that was not going to work this time. Something about the default theme for the latest Firefox just did not seem right to me, and it was distracting me from my work. So I spent about a half hour trying out different themes, and it was fascinating to see how really different they were, and how I responded pretty strongly to them, including strongly negative to quite a few of them. But then, I found it - the theme that works for me: Whitehart.


I am really glad I spent the time trying out the different themes. Given that 99% of the work I do is browser-based, it has been great having a theme that is very clear and, for me, easy on the eyes. It's not a frivolity: if you are lucky enough to find a theme that works really nicely for you, it can definitely improve your online workday!

I would urge everybody to browse around the Firefox Add-ons to find a theme that works for you - just click on the Advanced Search option for Firefox Add-ons and you can look specifically for themes that are compatible with your version of Firefox and your operating system. That's how I found Whitehart - and it's turned out to be a great choice for me!




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Friday, July 25, 2008

Writing a Knol article for Google's new encyclopedia

As I explained over in my Bestiaria Latina blog, I'm very excited about the launching of Google's online encyclopedia, Knol. I wrote a few articles about Aesop's fables (my academic area of expertise) on the day that the service launched, and I hope very much that teachers and professors will take advantage of this great opportunity to share their knowledge online. In this post, I wanted to show just how easy it is to contribute an article, called a "knol" (unit of knowledge), to the encyclopedia.

When you go to knol.google.com, you will find a link in the upper right-hand corner allowing you to sign in to your Google account (the same sign in as for Gmail, Blogger.com, and all the other Google services). After you sign in, you will see a link to "My Knols" - this is how you manage your existing knols and create new ones.

There is also a big "Write a Knol" button which you can click to get started:

The form for creating the knol is very straightforward, with the same kinds of controls in a typical word processor or email program:


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Title. The title will become part of the webpage address of your knol, so choose it carefully. You can change the title later if you want, but since this is how people will be linking to your article, it is best if you can choose the best title now, checking it carefully for typos.

Affiliation. You can state your affiliation briefly here, and your knol will also be linked to your Knol Bio (more on that below).

Summary. The summary is very important because it will be displayed in search results. The summary should give people a clear idea of what they will find in your article, especially if there is any kind of ambiguity in the title.

There are additional tips from the folks at Google about writing and formatting the content of your knol.

As you write make sure to Save your work, using the Save button in the upper left-hand corner:

You can save your knol as a draft without publishing it. Then, when you are ready to publish, just click on the Publish button in the right-hand column:

You can access all of your knols by clicking on the My Knols link at the top of the page. You can then click on the link in order to view, edit or manage that particular knol.

Click on manage in order to change the rights and permissions for the knol, and also if you want to unpublish or delete the knol.

In addition to the knols that you write, there is a knol automatically created for you, which is your Bio. To edit this knol, just click on My Bio along the top of the screen, or choose the Bio knol from your list of knols.

In addition to the information in your Bio knol, you have a Google profile which you can edit. To edit your Google profile (including the photo that displays with your articles), just click on the Edit My Profile link:

One of the main differences between Google's Knol project and Wikipedia is the use of author attribution for the articles. Wikipedia articles are unattributed, but Google's Knol articles do have authors, and it important to make use of the Knol Bio and your Google profile to make your credentials and perspective as an author clear.

Google also offers a name verification service - although I haven't had any luck with that so far; I've tried clicking on the "Verify Name" link but I keep getting a Server Error when I choose the credit card verification method (you can also verify by phone if you have a phone number listed in your name). Oh well: my name may not be verified, but - trust me! - I don't have any reasons to believe that someone else wants to pretend to be Laura-Gibbs-who-is-obsessed-with-Aesop... really! :-)


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Monday, July 21, 2008

FeedBurner BuzzBoost: RSS to Javascript

In my previous post, I had explained how to use the Feed2JS.org service to convert an RSS feed to javascript so that you could add the RSS to your blog or wiki or webpage. In this post, I'll explain a very nifty application at Feedburner which also allows you to convert an RSS feed to javascript. I first got started using Feedburner because of its excellent email subscription service; so, if you are using Feedburner already, you might also want to take advantage of this very elegant RSS-to-javsacript option, which they call BuzzBoost.

To get started, click on the Publicize tab for the Feedburner feed you want to work on (if you haven't converted your RSS to a Feedburner feed yet, it's easy to do: just go to the Feedburner homepage and follow the instructions there).

Then, from the list of services on the left, click on BuzzBoost.

Then, choose your Settings and Content options (you can change any of these options later on). You can choose to display just the titles of the posts, or the contents, too.


When you are done, make sure you click on the Activate button at the bottom of the screen.

You will then see the javascript code you need to paste into your blog or wiki or webpage in order to display the latest headlines.

(I've posted previously in this blog about the use of javascript widgets like this with Blogger.com, PBWiki.com, Quia.com, plus the Desire2Learn course management system - there are some web environments that do not accept this kind of javascript, such as ning and LiveJournal, but there are plenty that are very javascript-friendly!)

Here's an example of a Buzzboost feed showing the latest 10 posts at Latin Via Fables:




Friday, July 18, 2008

Dead.licious: Checking for bad del.icio.us links

Websites come and go... and when websites go away, they leave bad links behind! The accumulation of dead links is sometimes called "link rot" - and it is a major annoyance indeed. Luckily, there are some great del.icio.us tools that will alert you when any of your links has gone bad so that you can either delete the link, or update the address if the site has simply moved. Finally: a way to help put a stop to link rot!

In this post, I'll describe how I use dead.licious to keep my del.icio.us tags clean and up to date. This is a Macintosh tool - but you can find a similar tool for Windows listed at the del.icio.us website, along with some other great tools for Windows and for Macintosh.

To download and install dead.licious, just go to the dead.licious page at Malarkey Software. Whatever you do, don't click on the "Cats" link, because you will end up spending a lot of time looking at the adorable pictures of the programmer's two cats, Darwin and Pascal! :-)

You will be prompted to download a zip file to your computer. Just unzip the file, and drag the dead.licious icon from the unzipped dead.licious folder into your Applications folder, and you are ready to go!
When you run the program, you will be prompted to log in to your del.icio.us account. The program then goes and fetches all your links and checks them one by one to make sure the link still works. It cannot check to see if the content is still the same, of course - but if there is a link which is broken, it will alert you so that you can either delete the link, or correct the bad address. This process can take a while depending on the number of links, but there's a handy status bar that lets you know how the process is going:


This link checker is yet another fantastic reason to use del.icio.us to maintain your link lists. If you try to maintain a links list as a static webpage, it is a lot of trouble to add new links... and you are going to have a terrible time chasing down bad links. With del.icio.us, you can add new links to your list in a single click from your browser, with utilities like dead.licious you can keep your link list free from link rot! Yeah!!!


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Feed2JS: Convert RSS to JavaScript

Shame on me: here I've had this blog for weeks now, and I haven't posted anything yet about Feed2JS.org, the "Feed 2 JavaScript" service that I use all the time. So, let me take care of that right now! (In a later post, I'll explain how to use Feedburner to accomplish something similar, converting RSS to a javascript you can use in a blog, wiki or website - very handy if you are laready using Feedburner to manage your feeds.)

Feed2JS is a web-based utility which will take an RSS feed (from a blog, from a wiki, an RSS feed of your del.icio.us tags), and turn that feed into a javascript so that you can insert it into a webpage environment. You cannot display RSS directly in a webpage environment because RSS is pretty scary-looking computer gobbledy-gook, but the Feed2JS services takes the gobbledy-gook (also known as XML) and turns it into something humans can read (in other words, HTML).

You can configure just what part of the RSS feed you want displayed - the name of the source (or not), the dates of the posts (or not), the number of posts, and so on. For serious web folks, you can also play around with CSS in order to create a particular style for the way the content will be displayed. The only caveat is that the javascript sits on the Feed2JS.org server; if it goes down for maintenance or some other reason, your script will come up blank. So, you might want to talk to the IT guys in your school or company about running your own copy of Feed2JS locally; you can get information about how to do that at the Feed2JS.org website.

Meanwhile, here's how you can use the standard Feed2JS service in just a few easy steps:

Step 1: Generate Preview. Get the RSS feed address you want to use, and go to the Build page at the Feed2JS.org website. Paste in the URL of the feed, and choose any of the options shown there. Then click on the Preview Feed button to make sure the results are what you wanted.


Just as a sample, here are the latest three items from the feed for our student newspaper at OU, the OU Daily:

Step 2: Get Code. If the results look good to you, click on the Close Window button. Then, click on the Generate Javascript button, and get the code from the box on the screen. You need to highlight all the code that is in the box, and copy it:


Step 3: Insert Code. You are now ready to insert the javascript code into a web environment that allows javascript (I've posted previously in this blog about how to insert javascripts into Blogger.com blogs, Desire2Learn, and PBWiki, among others).

So - presto! - here are the latest headlines from our student newspaper:




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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wordle: Create your own word clouds

Since "tag clouds" are one of the distinctive aspects of del.icio.us (which I have been posting about for the past week), I thought I would share this nifty utility called Wordle, which creates word clouds - with some very artistic layouts! - from blogs or any other type of webpage with an RSS feed. It will also create a word cloud from a chunk of text that you simply cut and paste into the word cloud generator.

It's very self-explanatory - just get your content ready (RSS or text) and then head over to Wordle to generate your own word cloud!

You can customize it in various ways (horiztonal v. vertical, color palettes, fonts, etc.), but the default settings work great - you can see below the cloud it created for this blog, based on the RSS feed. What fun!

Thanks to the Generator Blog (one of my very favorite fun blogs to read) for alerting me about this one! I love the way it kind of created a default motto for the past week - SEE: dynamic content tags can be del.icio.us!




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Friday, July 11, 2008

BlogThis: Instant blogging with Blogger.com

Since I used my little BlogThis button to save a few articles from the New York Times today over at my Curiose blog, I thought I would explain about this very nifty browser add-on feature for instant blog publishing! I use it all the time, sometimes to create an actual post, but usually just to save something as a draft which I can then develop into a full-blown blog post later on. This option works very well for me since I stay logged into my Google account all day long (reading Gmail, posting in blogs, using GoogleBooks); so, with BlogThis I can instantly save webpage links in the blogs where I will need them, as opposed to just bookmarking them and hoping that I might remember later what I saved them for!

You can read all about the BlogThis button over at the Blogger.com Help section - and you can also grab your own copy of the button there.

In short, the BlogThis button is really just a javascript which happily sits on your browser toolbar. Then, when you are viewing a webpage, you just click on the BlogThis button. It will open a window which displays all your blogs. You choose the blog you want to post to from the list.

After you have chosen the blog you want to post to, the new post will automatically be populated with a title and with a link to the webpage you are looking at, so if that is all you need you can go ahead and either Publish the post as is, or save it as a Draft.

Alternatively, you can do some typing and editing, just as you would in the regular Blogger.com interface, and then Publish or save as Draft.

Tip: If you highlight text on the page before you click on the BlogThis button, that text will also be copied into the body of the post, with quotation marks around it. Very handy!





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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Navigating del.icio.us: Browsing related tags

In my previous post, I explained how to navigate del.icio.us by configuring the way that the tags are listed (by frequency, in bundles, as a cloud). In this post, I'll explain how to use the great 'related tags' feature at del.icio.us to zoom in on the materials that will be most useful to you.

When you are viewing a set of tags for a particular user (either your own tags, or the tags of another user, like my Aesopus user tags or my OnlineCourseLady user tags), you will start off by seeing all the tags listed in the far right column.


To access a tag, just click on the name of the tag. For example, here is what I see if I click on the tag "perry133" (the story of the dog and his reflection in the water). Notice that now there are related tags which appear, in addition to the complete list of tags. The related tags are all the tags that are linked to the tag that I have currently selected, perry133:

I can then click on PLUS sign in order to see the items that feature both tags. For example, if I click on the PLUS sign next to the tag "english," that will give me all the items that are tagged as "perry133" and as "english" (that is, English translations of the fable of the dog and his reflection):


MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON THE PLUS SIGN. If you click on the tag "english" that will give you all the items tagged English, not just the items tagged with both "english" and "perry133."

You can keep clicking on related tags in order to further refine your selection. For example, if I now click on the PLUS sign next to "illustrated," that will give me all the fables tagged with "perry133 english illustrated" (illustrated English translations of the fable of the dog and his reflection).


You can also see how this works at the level of the del.icio.us browse box; if you want, you can simply type the PLUS sign and the additional tags in the box, without clicking on the related tags:

This is all directly reflected in the URL as well, and you can also just type the URL directly if you want:



In addition to adding related tags, you can also remove them; at the bottom of the related tags box is a link for removing any tags you have selected:



Finally, you can get an RSS feed for any tag combination you have created. Just look for the RSS link at the bottom of the page:


Thanks to the power of Feed2JS.org, for example, you can see here, automatically, the latest items which have been tagged as "illustrated" by the Aesopus user (that's me!):



Over at my OnlineCourseLady account (which I use for materials related to my online courses), here are the latest ebook items I have tagged:



Although del.icio.us is a very simple system, you can use it to do some pretty amazing digital tricks! I'll explain something next time about del.icio.us badges and other nifty extras.


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Monday, July 7, 2008

Navigating del.icio.us: Tag clouds and more

You can choose from a variety of del.icio.us display options when you are viewing your tags, or when you are viewing the tags of any specific user. For example, here are the tags in my Aesopus account - even though this is not your user account, you will have these navigation options because it is a specific user account which you are viewing: http://del.icio.us/aesopus (notice that the URL is based on the user name:

Items per page. By default, all the tags are listed in order from most recent to oldest, on multiple pages. Down at the bottom of the page, you can select how many items you want displayed per page.


Right column: tags.
In the far right column is a list of all the tags that the user has used. These may or may not be displayed in "bundles" - which are just headings used to organize the tags. For example, in the Aesopus user account, the tags are bundled, as you can see here - you can click on the little up/down arrow to open/close each individual bundle:


Down at the bottom of that column is the option to show/hide bundles. If you hide the bundles, the headings are removed and the tags are put together all in one big group:


You also have the option of sorting the tags alphabetically or by frequency (from high to low).

Special tip: Frequency hack. You can also set a "minimum" filter, meaning that only tags with at least "2" or at least "5" items are shown. If you want to see all the tags, just choose "1" as the minimum frequency. Also, if you want to set a different number as the minimum, you can do that - just edit the URL directly. For example, if I click to set the minimum to 5, this is the URL you will see in the address bar:
http://del.icio.us/aesopus?setminposts=5
I can manually change that number 5 to 10 (or any number I want) in order to set my own minimum:
http://del.icio.us/aesopus?setminposts=10

Tag cloud. Finally, you can also choose to view the tags as a "cloud" rather than as a list. The cloud representation is a great way to use the visual sizing and color of the type in order to quickly grasp the relative frequency of the tags. So, for example, here are all the Aesopus tags, unbundled, in alphabetical order, with 3 as the minimum frequency, in cloud display. Each item in the cloud is a link which will take you to a page displaying the items for that tag:


In a future post, I'll show you how you can get a del.icio.us tag cloud widget to use in your blog or website - and I'll also explain how you can use "related tags" to further refine your del.icio.us browsing.


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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dynamic webpages generated by del.icio.us

Now that you have a del.icio.us account (see the previous post), you can create dynamic lists of links without having to do any web programming at all. In this blog post, I'll show how I use the del.icio.us tagging system to make sure the information I am giving to my students is up to date so that I can add new content every semester, without having to modify my webpages in any way.

Adding new content with del.icio.us each semester. Every semester in my Indian Epics class, my students choose from a list of approximately 30 broad topics. When they start brainstorming about the topic, I want them to read some notes from me (those notes do not change from semester to semester), and I also want them to look at any projects students have done on that topic in the past, up to and including the past semester (so that content does change, as new projects are added to the list each semester). I use del.icio.us in order to get the dynamic, changing content to the students without having to update my course webpage.

To see what I mean, take a look at the course webpage which has the instructions for the topic of love stories: Love Stories in the Indian Epics - Storybook Project Guidelines.

As you can see, my instructions consist of a list of relevant characters and stories from the book we will be reading in the class (static content). There is also this link to a del.icio.us page, sample Storybooks about love stories in the epics (dynamic content, evolving as I tag new projects for the archive):
http://del.icio.us/onlinecourselady/ie+storybook+archive+lovestories

If you click on that link, you will see it goes to a del.icio.us webpage, showing my links (the ones for user "OnlineCourseLady") which I have tagged with "IE" (Indian Epics, the name of the course), "storybook" (the name of the assignment), "archive" (indicating it is a completed project from a previous semester), and "lovestories" - the specific tag for this particular topic.

So, at the end of each semester, I just take a few minutes and tag the completed projects that I want to save for future reference in the archive. I don't have to update the webpages at all: the webpage at my course site can stay the same, and the del.icio.us webpage is generated automatically, based on what I have tagged.

Structured browsing, too! One of the things I like best about this del.icio.us system is that it encourages my students to prowl around in the specific web resources I have flagged for their attention. So, for example, when they reach this page with with love story links, they can also click the link that says "remove lovestories" in order to see all the Storybook projects I have archived for this course (currently about 80 projects, with a new 15-20 projects added every semester).

They can then get a quick overview of the other possible topics when they see the related tags that are now available, in other words, all the other tags associated with the group of "IE Storybook Archive" materials in my OnlineCourseLady account:


Who knows? A student might think they want to do love stories, but if they happen to notice that "avatars" link right there, sheer curiosity might lead them to click and to go down a different road on the (highly structured) map that del.icio.us creates for me online.

In short: I love del.icio.us! With these dynamic pages, generated automatically for me by del.icio.us, I can make sure that the course materials I have for my students are updated each semester... without my having to go through the tedious process of actually updating my course website. For any of you who maintain large websites for your courses, you know that being able to EASILY update your website is a big plus. Using these del.icio.us pages to manage my course content means it is very easy indeed for me to keep the content up to date - while also giving my students the freedom to maneuver through the resources based on their own interests and curiosity. :-)


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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Creating your del.icio.us account(s)

As I explained yesterday, you can make good use of del.icio.us without even creating a user account, but the real power of del.icio.us is unleashed when you create your own user account at del.icio.us and start tagging the webpages you find valuable.

Create your account. Just go to the Registration page at del.icio.us. You will be asked to enter both a username (this can be an alias, or you can use your real name). You will also be asked to enter your full name; you can decide later if you want your full name to be included in your del.icio.us profile, or if you want your username only to be displayed. To confirm your email address, you will get a verification email from del.icio.us, which will contain a verification link that you need to click on to complete the registration process.


Add browser buttons. After you have chosen your username, you will be taken to a page that prompts you to Install Browser Buttons so that you will be able to quickly and easily tag pages while you are browing the web. (You don't need to reply to the verification email in order to continue with this part of the process.) There are two buttons: one button is for tagging individual pages, and the other button is for accessing your complete list of tags. After you have followed the instructions for installing the buttons in your browser, you will be given some specific information, based on the specific browser you are using, about how to use those buttons.


Firefox and Explorer add-ons. If you are using Firefox, you might also want to install the Firefox add-on, which expands the range of del.icio.us functions you can access instantly while browsing. You can read about the features of the Firefox extension, and decide if you want to install that (I use it all the time!). There is also a del.icio.us add-on for the Internet Explorer browser.

Your del.icio.us profile. Next, you should decide if you want to reveal your del.icio.us profile - that is, your full name - in addition to your username. By default, your username is the only thing that is displayed, but it's easy to also display your full name, along with a link to your website or other contact information. Since I use del.icio.us for academic and work-related projects, and not for personal tagging, I like to share my profile. Here's what it looks like for my username "aesopus" account; you can see my name listed there, and it links to my Aesop's fables website:

By default your full name is NOT displayed. If you want to display your name and a link to your website or email address, just go to the Settings page, and then choose Edit Profile (this is also where you can change your password and update your contact information):

Multiple usernames / multiple browsers. Depending on how you make use of del.icio.us, you might end up having multiple user accounts. I have two main del.icio.us accounts, one that I use for my online courses, and one that I use for my research into Aesop's fables. To keep from getting mixed up, I use two separate browsers. In my Firefox browser, I stay logged in to my Aesopus del.icio.us account (since that is the most active), and in my Safari browser, I stay logged in to my OnlineCourseLady account (which I use in a big burst at the beginning of every semester, but don't really update frequently after the semester has gotten started). Of course, you can also just log in and log out of multiple del.icio.us accounts in the same browser - but for someone like me, who is not really good at multitasking (I've got a seriously one-track mind!), it's easier to keep my two del.icio.us accounts in two separate web browsers. Plus, even though I use Firefox most of the time, it's fun to play around with Safari, too. :-)

More to come! In my next posts, I'll explain some more about cool features of del.icio.us, like tag clouds, and del.icio.us widgets for your blog!


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