Playing with Twine

April 18th, 2008 by Merrilee

I attended the CNI Task Force meeting last week (was it just last week?). One of the project briefings I attended was on Twine, a tool that supports social bookmarking, provides file storage (and sharing), provides collaborative editing environments. Twine also encourages you to use it for other functions — instead of using a blog, use Twine! Instead of using an email list, use Twine! As Twine gets to know you, it will give recommendations for resources that you might find interesting.

I’ve been using Twine this week, mostly to park things (webpages, so far) that I might blog about. I am super lazy about tagging thing. Part of that is because I find other people’s tags not so useful, and I’m not convinced I would find my own tags so very useful either. So one of the features I find interesting is the automatic tagging of resources that Twine provides. These are broken down into people, places, organizations, other tags, and types of items. I can add tags if I want, and I can kill off tags I don’t like. Supposedly, Twine will make this data open so that others can build applications that make use of it. Right now, I’m more likely to kill tags than add them, but if someone else can make use of my work, I’m more likely to add tags.

Twine is underpinned by semantic webby stuff (“powered by semantic understanding,” is what Twine says). I’ll admit that I have never fully understood the semantic web. While I recognize that this makes me a shallow person, Twine is an application where even I can the semantic web in action in a very small way.

If you are interested in finding out more about Twine, take the tour, or read this blog post which sings the praises of Twine.

Although I can’t give this application a ringing endorsement yet, I’m interested in having more of us in the library, archives, and museum space play around with tools like this. I think this can help give understanding of and insight into “personal research spaces” that researchers and others may be using now or in the future. If you are interested in getting an invite, I appear to have many to give out (as soon as I run out, I get more). Leave a comment or email me at proffitm@oclc.org. Just be warned that this is a true beta environment. If you are already on Twine, connect with me (I’m Merrilee). And please invite me to sit in on any interesting Twine experiments you are cooking up.

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