del.icio.usPosted: March 19, 2007
I was walking the dog Saturday night pondering the frequently asked question: “How do I start learning WDSC?” or “Where do I get started?”
People learn in different ways such as: external courses, in-house courses, self study courses, tutorials, reading a book, articles, or documentation, conference presentations and labs, and by just starting to use the it.
Other factors that affect this are: access to the learning resource (especially for external courses and conferences), time required and cost / budget. Also new users have different learning requirements than an intermediate or advanced user that just wants to learn more details about a specific function.
The good news is that all of the above resources exist for learning WDSC. The bad news is that no single place documents them all and finding them can be a nightmare. So how do we do a better job organizing these resources so that they are easy to find from WDSC? What is that magical starting point?
A solution to this problem already exists on the Web: social bookmarking. Here is the general idea: there is a website del.icio.us where you can install a browser plug-in that lets specify “tags” for any Web page you visit. Anyone can go to del.icio.us and query Web pages based on a tag or set of tags. Give it a try, go to del.icio.us and search for RSE. You can also query based on who did the tagging.
A few people have already started tagging things for WDSC, RSE, and Systemi (tags can’t have spaces). I have been using an IBM internal system social bookmarking service called dogear which allows me to tag both external and internal sites, but I’ll start using del.icio.us for external content.
How does this all relate to WDSC? The embedded help view (Help > Search) in WDSC already searches Google, infocenters, eclipse.org, and IBM developerWorks in addition to the product documentation. We could extend this to also search del.icio.us tags for the search keywords. Or provide quick links that go to some predefined del.icio.us tag searches such as WDSC Conferences (tags WDSC and conferences). Edit: I’ve updated the link to conferences from conference (conferences seems to be used more frequently on del.icio.us than conference).
This allows both IBM and WDSC users to define what resources what would show up. Anyone could add a page to the result by tagging a Web page with keywords WDSC and conference.
I’ve started and will continue to do so. I’ve been using tags WDSC, RSE, Systemi, iSeries, WebFacing, conferences, education, LPEX, and RPG. I’d be interested to hear from others in the System i community who have started tagging.