Social Bookmarking Behind the Firewall

A research team at IBM is working on an application called Dogear that brings social bookmarking to large enterprises. Just as with (I never know where to put the first period), the idea is to let others benefit from pages you find interesting and that you tag this way and that; only here the others are folks in your firm. IBM’s software is typically sophisticated, and Dogear won’t be an exception, it seems: the front end lets you search by tag (natch), lets you see a list of those who’ve bookmarked a particular page, and gives you a list of a colleague’s bookmarks. It also let’s you vary the size of a tag cloud with a slider. You can also view any page as an RSS or Atom feed if you wish and any page can be installed as part of a “blogroll” on any web page within the firm’s system.

This seems to be something that KM folks might want to watch. Tagging is a fairly easy behaviour and one that might be carried over from home behaviour into the firm, the net result being some useful metadata that’s easily accessed.

If you’re interested in more technical aspects you should take a look at the article about Dogear in Queue.

So far as I can tell, Dogear is still in a development phase and not ready for download yet. (I’d be interested to hear otherwise.)


  1. Oooh, this is a good one Simon! I’ve been considering an end-around solution along these lines — running the RSS feeds of firm member’s tagging – be it or furl – and then archiving them with a multi-user aggregator behind the firewall. Once into an in-house DB, the data could be manipulated in some of the ways you’ve mentioned above.

    One of the challenges with all this, is to have a balance between letting employees ‘operate’ on the public internet, but still extract their work related surfing for KM.

    Oh, and although I’ve been hard on tagging in the past, I think I’ve always said that it has value for smaller controlled groups. … I just wish there were more open source solutions that would help behind the firewall. In some ways, it’s too bad this is an IBM effort.

  2. According to a contact of mine, this is the guy who’s running the project. Maybe he’d let you borrow it and play.

  3. Check freetag (at the end of this post) – a free and open source solution.

  4. I should have known you’d be all over this a long time ago, Patrick. Next time I’ll search your blog before I post anything remotely connected to information management.

  5. Thanks Patrick. Have you installed it? &/or have you used the Drupal delicious module?

  6. Simon – no sweat! I enjoyed reading the post and seeing that we share interest in dogear. And I did not know David was the project lead. :-)

    Steven – nope; following a recent job announcement, we have hired a drupal programmer to come up with a drupal distribution suitable for use in a governmental context – for example, to develop a drupal theme that makes drupal abide by Common Look & Feel guidelines. That will take a while. Thanks for the link to that drupal module – I was not aware of it. :-)

  7. If anyone’s interested, we’re building a hosted version of an enterprise bookmarking system.

    You can apply for a beta account at as long as you meet our beta criteria.

  8. Would someone be willing to post something on Slaw explaining what drupal is? That would be a huge help!

  9. Connie, take a look at the Wikipedia article about Drupal:

    As it says there “Drupal is a modular content management framework, content management system and blogging engine…” It’s not terribly different from WordPress, which drives Slaw, though it’s more powerful in some respects, but harder for a novice to work.

  10. Connie – as Simon says; for someone who needs only blogging capabilities, I would go with WordPress. However, if you want a full featured online collaboration, web 2.0 enabled web site; I would choose drupal. Others seem to have similar preferences. :-)

  11. Okay, now I’m sorry I asked! I had heard the term bandied about so was curious. Now that looks so good I may need to add it to Connie’s MegaList of Things to Learn and Do…..will the world ever slow down enough so I can keep up?!? Gah!!!

    Um, thanks everyone. 8-)

  12. This is turning into a bit of a Drupal discussion:

    Take a look at what an IBM development team is doing: Using open source software to design, develop, and deploy a collaborative Web site, Part 1: Introduction and overview

    They picked Drupal and gave very clear detailed reasons, with lots of comparisons with other CMSs. Interesting.

  13. I’ve put up an introductory Drupal / OS CMS post. If anyone wants to discuss further…