Three Tips for Smart Bagging

Hey, thanks for using BagTheWeb! We are continuously working to improve the site. During the past months, we worked on upgrading our site from low version development language to higher version one in order to improve performances. In the next few months we will release a big makeover to the user interface to make it cleaner and faster, and hopefully make everyone happy.

Recently more and more users ask us how to better using Bags for their purpose. Today we start sharing a series of Bagging tips with you.

Update Bag It bookmarklet

bagi it bookmarklet

The Bag It bookmarklet is a tool that makes it easy to add webpages and bags into your bags. Best of all, you can use it from anywhere on the web, not just on BagTheWeb.com.

If you have installed the Bag It bookmarklet onto your browser, it should work fine now. If you use Chrome browser and find the Bag It bookmarklet does not work. You may go the following page and re-install it.

http://www.bagtheweb.com/tool/welcome

Upgraded rich media embedding feature

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The rich media embedding feature has been upgraded to support more than 23 major sources. Check this demo bag to see the list:

http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/awJdD2

All you need to do is adding a link to a bag, and the video or photo will be recognized automatically and become embedded into the bag. You can also use the Bag It bookmarklet too.

Use Re-bagging for discovery

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You probably know we have already added a feature called Re-bagging.

The idea of Re-bagging is very simple. If you see a link item in any bag, just click the Rebag button below the link. Then you can add this link item to your bags. The following bag guides you in using this feature.

http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/DUfdrO

Join the Bagging community

One more thing. If you are on Google+, you are welcome to join our Bagging community on GOOGLE+.

Next week, we will share more useful bagging tips with you.

Improved Hashtag function, Links page, Text-only mode, and Print button

Hey, the holiday season is around the corner! While you are busy putting up Christmas trees and shopping for gifts for family and friends, BagTheWeb is working on another update to provide you with an improved Hashtag function and three other new features. Here is a brief introduction of these cool things.

1. Improved Hashtag

The new hashtag feature is more powerful than the old one. Now it can (1) help you organize your bags, (2) help you explore other people’s bags, (3) make the whole system smarter.

- A new bag description field that allows hashtagging. You can add hashtags by editing the bag description field even before publishing your bags.

bag description hashtags

- Recommending bags with hashtags. If you are updating bags you created a while ago, you can recommend them to your followers with hashtags that describe the newest links you are adding. You can also use hashtags to recommend bags created by others.

- Commenting on bags with hashtags. The comment field also allows hashtags now. If you see a bag that do not have appropriate hashtags yet, you can add hashtags to it via the comment field. This way, you “push” this bag onto the public hashtag page and make it easier for other users to find.

- Filter by hashtags. Now you can see a “filter by hashtags” button on all users’ bagspace pages. You can click this button and choose a hashtag to filer bags users created and recommended. On your bagspace, the “filter by hashtags” button can be found on the All Bags page, Draft Bags page, Published Bags page, Private Bags page, Recommendations page, and Favorites page.

Filter by hashtags - BagTheWeb - 3

- Improved public hashtag page. A public hashtag page now has two new choices: (1) “tags that may be related” at the sidebar; (2) a personal hashtag section. If you click a hashtag from one user’s profile, you will see three sections: “by all”, “by this user”, and “by you”.

- Two groups of hashtags on profile page. We separate the hashtags you have used into two groups: (1) Hashtags used on your bags, and (2) Hashtags used on others’ bags.

2. Links page

The newly added Links page under your bagspace is a private page like Favorite page. Only you can see this page at your bagspace. The Links page displays all links you bagged under four categories: all, draft, published, and private.

Links page -BagTheWeb - 2

The Links page has two view modes. The default mode is Simple view which only displays Links’ titles and dates. The Expand view adds link’s description and shows the titles of bags where the link resides.

The Links page allows users to Export links as a HTML file. Also, users can search for links there.

3. Text-only mode

Even without signing in to our website, you can now see a text-only mode of a bag page.

see text mode

The text-only mode allows you to copy visual or HTML format of all links within a bag. Then you can paste these links to your blog, text file, email edit box or other files.

text-only mode - visual

4. Print button on a bag page

The Comment button at the right top corner of a bag page has been replaced by a Print button. Now you can print all links within a bag.

print button

If you want to make the world greener, you can use this button only when you have to do it. For example, if you build a bag for your trip, it’s still useful to have a paper copy of it in hand to view the information while you do not have web access.

OK, that’s our introduction. Even the new features seem useful, we still want to see how much you like them and thus are eager to hear your feedback.

You may want to check out the following bags to see screenshots.

(1). New feature: Filter by hashtags

http://bagtheweb.com/b/heY8XP

(2). Public hashtag page

http://bagtheweb.com/b/GMepay

(3). How to create hashtags on BagTheWeb?

http://bagtheweb.com/b/JuvbY0

(4). New feature: Links page

http://bagtheweb.com/b/CLtpvy

(5). New feature: Text-only mode

http://bagtheweb.com/b/URHQYv

(6). Print button on a bag page

http://bagtheweb.com/b/tRJypd

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

2011 is a wonderful year. Thanks to all of you for staying here with us through the year. We have received many warm thank-you messages from you and learned a lot from you. We are working together to make the web more useful for the world.

Multi-bagging bookmarklet and Quick-bagging box

As you may notice we just released several new features on BagTheWeb. We are pleased to introduce them to you and hope you will find them useful.

1. Multi-bagging bookmarklet
Many users suggested that we add a “multi-bagging” capability to the bookmarklet and we listened. Now it comes! You can add a webpage link to multiple bags at one time through the “bag it” bookmarklet.

Multi-bagging bookmarklet-1

2. Quick-bagging at personal homepage
Now if you sign into our site, you will see a “Quick-bagging” box above the bagstream section where you see upcoming bags from people you follow. Just paste a URL in the Quick-bagging box, click “bag it” button, then a webpage link is already in your bag(s).

The Quick-bagging box and the Multi-bagging bookmarklet use similar user interfaces. Also, multi-bagging capability is included in the quick-bagging process.

Quickbagging - BagTheWeb - Step 1

3. New personal homepage
We also modified the personal homepage by making the sidebar more useful, providing faster access to your bags and easier exploration of the bagging community.

amazing_social_bagging_experience

Together, these new features bring us a coordinated performance. We hope you will enjoy the improved bagging experience.

You may want to check out the following bags to see screenshots and tips.

1.Multi-bagging Bookmarklet
http://bagtheweb.com/b/DZfS84/

2.Quick-bagging at Personal Homepage
http://bagtheweb.com/b/Bbp0qP

3. New Personal Homepage
http://bagtheweb.com/b/SK3rqF

4. Amazing Social Bagging Experience
http://bagtheweb.com/b/H0fUPP

We are working on more features to improve the core bagging capability. We will appreciate it if you could give us your feedback and advice. You can leave comments on the above bags.

Welcome to the 9/11 Curation for Memorial Channel

Today, we are glad to announce the launch of our 9/11 Curation for Memorial Channel. This day marks the tenth anniversary of the shocking 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. We have reached an important milestone.

During the past decade, people talked, debated, and thought about the changes the world is experiencing. These conversations brought tons of articles, photos, videos, presentations, tweets, and other types of contents on the Web.

Social network websites are being used as gathering places for public memorial of 9/11. People are coming together to pay tribute to the victims, share stories, and bear witness to the tragedy on these sites.

So, what’s the most convenient way to curate these fragmented materials? Can we weave a 9/11 Web together?

We believe that collective social content curating efforts will build a “good web” where contents are better interconnected, easier to find, to share and to use. And we are excited BagTheWeb is part of this powerful trend.

The 9/11Curation for Memorial Channel aims to provide you with an easy way to collect, preserve, present, and share the history of September 11, 2011 and its aftermath. You can use “bags” to curate 9/11 related web contents from your personal angle, and then submit your bags to the channel.

http://bagtheweb.com/911

Are you a 9/11 Curator?

Join us to build a large online museum for the past and for the future.

Let’s weave a 9/11 Web together.

How to contribute a related bag

If you are interested in 9/11-related topics and would like to contribute to this channel, please consider submitting bags by using one of the following methods:

1. Use “Suggest related bags” box
2. Recommend bags simply by add a hashtag #911

Qualified bags will be selected as featured bags by our curators. It’s amazing what we can work on this together!

Participate without signing up

If you don’t want to sign up, you can follow @BagTheGOOD who is the curator of this channel on Twitter.com and send him a tweet “I’d like to be a #911 curator on @BagTheWeb”.

We will DM you the user name and password of “911Curator” account at BagTheWeb.

BagTheWeb helps educators and students in learning

Houston, TX, February 4, 2011. BagTheWeb, the leading social bagging community site, today released a new feature on its site called Education Channel, to better serve teachers, students, researchers, and lifelong learners. The main channel page showcases interesting bags used for education and active educator baggers as well.

http://bagtheweb.com/edu

Education has always been a major application focus of the site. With bag’s powerful and easy to use features, teachers can collect teaching materials into bags for students to study and to assign homework. Students can build bags to collect information for their courses and to create projects. Researchers can bag what they discover from the Web and share knowledge with colleagues. Lifelong learners can keep their passion on interesting topics by bagging towards a personal knowledge base.

channel - education - BagTheWeb_20110204

Recently, some teachers and students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Oak Park, Illinois, started using bags for their reading projects. A group of fifth-grade students were asked to build bags collecting webpage links about social photojournalist Lewis Hine and embed them into their blog pages with a short essay to reply questions on Lewis Hine.

“Emerging technologies promote changes in the process of human learning. Social networking tools bring us a new learning environment and rewire our brains. We are excited to add a technology piece to help. It is good to know that even fifth-graders are building and using bags for their studies. Understanding is important in the process of human learning. Our tool is designed to help understand the meaning of information instead of remembering every piece of information,” said Gordon Wu, CEO of BagTheWeb.

The new Education Channel allows users to submit education-related bags and BagTheWeb’s curators will feature them on the channel after review. Also, active educators will be featured there. Via the Education Channel, these contents can reach a broader audience and thus benefit the entire education community.

How do fifth-grade students use bags for learning reading?

Recently I saw a user account called Lincolnreading1 that had published four bags on the same topic: Lewis Hine, an American sociologist and photographer. Hine used his camera as a tool for social reform, and his photographs were instrumental in changing the child labor laws in the United States.

I remembered this user had published similar bags. Sometimes the bag title was Lewis Hine, the man behind the camera; sometimes it was just names, such as Bob or Cassie.

Lincolnreading1

The repeated occurrences puzzled me. Who is the person behind the user account
Lincolnreading1? Why did he create so many bags on Lewis Hine? Is he a photographer? How does he use those bags? Is he a history teacher?

After checking out our site’s Google Analytics account, we figured out what was going on, and it really excited us. We would like to share the story with you here.

Mr. K, the man behind the account Lincolnreading1, is a teacher at Lincoln School in Oak Park, Illinois. He is leading a group of fifth-grade students experimenting with new technology by participating in global collaborative projects. On Jan 2, 2011, Mr. K published a blog post on Fifth-Grade Accelerated Reading @ Lincoln blog and asked his students to create projects on Lewis Hine. Let’s see what he said in that post:

Lewis Hine…A Man with a Camera that Made a Difference!

Who is this man and what did he do to change American history? Is he just a man that took pictures or a man that showed the world images they have never seen?

That will be your first research question: Who is Lewis Hine and why are we studying his life and works?

Please read Kids at Work (pages 92-105) in your Open Court Classics book, then use the Bag the Web resources below to find out more about Lewis Hine.

Lewis Hine bag

http://bagtheweb.com/b/cu65rN

Now create your own Bag the Web for Lewis Hine go to http://bagtheweb.com/ and type in the username: lincolnreading1 and our usual password. Then embed the BAG on your blog page.

Please type in Microsoft Word (save in your own folder) and add to your blog page.

Extended Response Question for Lewis Hine: With his box camera and his sympathetic eye, Lewis Hine made a dramatic difference in people’s lives. How did he accomplished this and what do you think will be his lasting legacy to the history of America?

Use your own words and the text to support your answer. Please give at least two specific examples from the text, make connections about your answer to your own life, another story, or the real world. Explain/infer what you understand about the answer, that isn’t directly stated in the story. Lastly, explain your connections and/or inferences clearly and thoroughly.

Wow! This is amazing! Before we launched BagTheWeb, Gordon said to me that teachers could use bags in their teaching. They could create a bag on a project and ask students to create their own bags. These bags could link together.

Emerging technologies promote change in the model of human learning. Social networking tools bring us a new learning environment and rewire our brain. We are honored to join the movement. It is so simple to build bags that fifth-grade students can use for their reading learning. Our site can help people collect and organize websites and pages; however, it does more than that.

People often surf the web and find good stuff they would like to read later. They re-find it later through a social bookmarking tool. In contrast, social bagging, that is, people collecting relevant webpage links into bags, is for understanding. If users don’t understand the links and the relationship between links, they can’t build good bags. We believe understanding is important during the process of human learning. Our tool is designed to help understand information instead of remembering every piece of information.

We are excited about the way Mr. K and the group of fifth-grade students use bags. We also notice more and more teachers are starting using our site. The good news is that we are working on a new feature for educators. We hope that our efforts with BagTheWeb can benefit teachers, students, life-long learners, and researchers.

New Bag Page: A Wider Layout for Networked Curation

During last several weeks, we were working on a new bag page design to improve the user experience on our site. Today all our bags get a new look. Beyond most curation tools’ capability, BagTheWeb enables users to build networks of bags. This way bags can be linked together to provide rich and complete information about any topic. The new bag page design aims to bring you an effortless way of building networked curation.

Here is a brief description on the new bag page and other changes.

1. Fixed, two-column layout

Instead of expanding tabs, now every bag page has a fixed, two-column layout, for both public view and editing modes.

For bag readers, the current webpage links section is wider than the old one. The wider layout brings a more eye-friendly browsing and reading experience.

This is also good for bag creators who can see exactly what a bag will look like when it’s published, without switching between edit and view modes.


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2. Recommendation and Hashtags

The new layout moves the recommend button under the bag icon and separates it from the regular share buttons. This makes the recommend button more outstanding to encourage you to share more interesting bags to your followers, no matter if you are the bag’s creator or not.


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The recommend box uses a pop-up window. You can write additional comments comfortably with a bigger edit box while you are recommending a bag.


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Hashtags people used are also displayed at the bag summary as a part of the identity of a bag. It is useful for bag readers to explore more related bags through the hashtag page.

3. Always display bag links section

If a bag doesn’t have any bag links, the old design hides the whole bag links section from the bag page. The new layout always display the bag links section. The result is that bag pages have a consistent, easy to read layout.

4. New Picture inserting interface

We implemented a new, more user-friendly process for uploading a picture. Now you can insert a picture three ways: upload from your computer, grab a publicly available image URL, or select from a set of images found on a particular webpage. For bag icon, user icon, and post’s picture, you can use the first 2 methods but not the last.

5. Display popular hashtags at the top of explore page

Hashtags people used when they recommend bags is a great way to explore quality bags. The new explore page displays a cluster of popular hashtags at the top.

6. Support more rich media contents

Bags will automatically display rich media content, such as video and photos, originated from certain sites. Check out the following list to see what site we are supporting:

– YouTube.com
– Vimeo.com
– TED.com
– SlideShare.com
– TechCrunch.tv
– Ustream.tv
– 5min.com
– Flickr.com

All you need to do is add a link to a bag, and the video or photo will be recognized automatically and become embedded into the bag. We will add more sites to the supported list soon.

Try it yourself to see if the above change if it is more friendly, helpful, and fun to you. As always, we are eager to hear what you, our baggers, think about these new changes. Click on the “feedback” link at the bottom of any page and tell us what you think.

Service Back to Normal. Thank You!

After two days of intense work, we finally reinstalled all the pieces needed for running BagTheWeb onto a much more reliable server environment. Hopefully, this will prevent future interruptions from happening.

we are back

During the past two days, we got a lot of inquiries from our users. We really appreciate all your interest and encouragement!

@live2learn

We are very sorry for the temporarily down. Now everything is fine. All of your accounts’ information and data are safe.

@TSSVeloso

Thank you for your patience and support. We will continuously improve the performance of our site and present you more useful features.