The value of microblogs for research and information sharing

Have you heard of microblogging?  Maybe not, but you are using this technology if you read and/or post to popular social network platforms that include Twitter and Facebook.

In researching this topic (i.e., Google search), I ran across this short article early on which is worth a read: What Is Microblogging? – A Definition of Microblogging with Examples by Daniel Nations Updated June 14, 2015.

Reviewing the article’s list of services it appears that they are mostly user-created and content-oriented e.g., postings of some media (such as a pithy thought, an image or images, videos).  But there are other kinds of services that are available to you as well.

A kind of service that I have been using for more than a decade is social bookmarking i.e., when I encounter an interesting web site as expressed by a URL, I bookmark it, not in my own private browser, but in a very public space hosted by a third-party.  (Actually you can mark some bookmarks Private.)  Of course I can view these bookmarks without being logged into the microblogging service from any browser.

Usually this is done either by an installed extension to the browser that places a button on your browser’s toolbar or by copying some JavaScript code to your browser’s bookmark toolbar (and pressing that “link” which produces a browser popup of a form).  This extension or JavaScript code will be provided by the hosting microblogging site (if available).

Others may subscribe (“follow”) me for any updates or particular tags.  Each tag has its own web page. Tags can be combined (“ANDed”) to create an intersection of URLs bookmarked with those tags.  And like any good modern day content provider, RSS feeds are created so that you can aggregate them for current and future research [1].

So, here is an example of (my) bookmark page hosted on (formerly

Maybe you are interested in my (microblogs tend to be personal) subject (topic) tagged as “blawg”[2]

As you scroll through the web sites curated, take a closer look at one called “Sidebars”

Notice the text “Reflections on White Collar Crime and Federal Criminal Law”

This was a comment filled in by me when I added (or updated) that entry.

Below that, you’ll see some tags.  Click on the first one – “rss blawg” – and you will be given access to bookmarks that link to that topic as they specifically relate to BLAWG RSS feed sites.

Since you are already a power user of RSS, and want to know when I post more RSS feeds for BLAWG links, you can use your RSS aggregator to subscribe to: (a little bit of waving of hands / smoke / mirrors to find this feed:)

Another microblogging – well maybe a ‘miniblogging’ site – is QuickTopic:  This is much like a traditional blog, but also makes it very easy to create new topics and of course RSS feeds are maintained too.

No doubt you’ll realize a deficiency of microblogging bookmarks is the continuing problem of link rot.  Somebody has to go and check those links for existence and accuracy.

So there you have it – a short introduction to an information sharing utility.

[1] What is RSS and How to Use it Effectively

[2] BLAWG being a combination of the words Blog and Law and referring to blogs focused on topics relating to the law and legal issues. The term was created by attorney Denise Howell. See also the American Bar Association Annual Blawg 100.

Posted in: Blogs, KM, Libraries & Librarians, Social Media