Blogs are perhaps the most common of the social software tools. Blogger is the mother of all blogging tools and you might like to set one up. If you like you can visit my audio blog at

Following closely on the heels of blogs are wikis. Wikis, according to the mother of Wikis (!), Wikipedia, is a type of website that allows anyone visiting the site to add, to remove, or otherwise to edit all content, very quickly and easily, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative writing. The term wiki is a shortened form of wiki wiki which is from the native language of Hawaii (Hawaiian), where it is commonly used as an adjective to denote something "quick" or "fast". 

There are already a plethora of wiki tools out there, and this site provides a comparison. Two that I have used and like are Wikispaces, and Writely.

Here are three other social software sites. Each site requires that you register to use the free service.

1) Flickr

Flickr is service that allows you to upload photographs to share with others. Nothing particularly new or unusual about that except that Flickr encourages users to make use of the tags feature.

When you upload photos to Flickr you are asked to tag each photo. This means that anyone who knows how you’ve tagged your photos can find them. So, for example, a group of people who have taken photographs of the same event can see everyone else’s photos if they all use the same tag.

Implications for teaching? How might you use such a tool?

2) is a social bookmarking tool. You can use it to list your bookmarks. This means you can get access to your bookmarks on any computer that is connected to the Internet. In addition, you can instantly see

  • who else has bookmarked that site
  • what other people have said about the site

And you can search for similar sites by searching with tags.

Implications for teaching? How might you use such a tool?

3) ELGG - A Personal Learning Landscape

Think of ELGG as a Learning Management System (LMS) for an individual – a Janison or WebCT just for you.

Amongst other things, it provides:

  • Personal and group calendars
  • A blogging tool
  • The ability to create your own communities, or join others.
  • File storage
  • RSS feeds and aggregator: the ability to automatically import the content of others you are interested in – typically via blogs.

If you do create an ELGG community invite me and I’ll drop by and check it out.

Implications for teaching? How might you use such a tool?

Further Exporation:

(site created 18/4/06)