Basically it is a place to keep all your bookmarks, but not only that, since it is based on a research model, there is also space for different document types like, articles, papers, events (create an event), and lectures…and these don’t have to have a URL, there is some storage space to upload files.
Your notebook (dashboard) consists of all your saved; bookmarks, lectures, articles, papers, events, and groups…any item saved in any of these areas is tagged, so the tags tab on your dashboard will reveal a tag cloud to access an aggregate of items across any of these sections.
As noted there is a groups section…you can create a group or join a group, and when you save an item there is always the option to add it to the group page as well.
What else…you can create a forum, send private emails or email to groups members, email notification each time new content is added to a group you are subscribed to, or just use RSS.
Each item has a permalink, you can add tags to that item (even if it is not yours), leave a comment…for items other than bookmarks you can also rate/vote, or add to the calendar (for events)
…if you want to copy that item into your own user space, use the quick link under the My Bookmarks section.
I like the idea of a group social sharing network focused on research (especially document type sections, forums, messages, but the user interface and features could take a leaf out of the Zimbio book).
A problem I find is that when you click on a tag, the items can be any of the document types above, but each entry is not labelled this way, so when you glance at an entry you don’t know if it is a bookmark, paper, etc…even when you click on the item permalink you still don’t know if you are looking at a bookmark, paper, etc
…the latest content stream on the homepage does label each item, so why not at the tag level or item level.
Also anyone can add tags to your items (not sure if this can be disabled)…you can make any item you add private/public, but what about tag editing rights.
The user space section could be more like the groups section in showing a content stream, that is the contents is organised by document type…and the groups section could make use of a tag cloud like the user space does.
The tag cloud represents all document types, I’d like to see a tag cloud for each document type as well, and an RSS feed.
Lacks a news document type, and also a section for search results, ie. since there is a Google Scholar search box it would be good if you could do a search then save the URL in a search section, rather than saving it as a bookmark or any of the other document types.
NOTE: I forgot to add there is a bookmarklet to add any webpage to your bookmarks.
The only thing missing for a user or a group is news streams, I mean the document type areas are manually submitted/curated areas, whereas I’m talking an automatic news stream (via subscribing to some external feeds, ie. a Public RSS Reader)…I noticed something on the sidebar called RSS feeds (this is something similar to what I mean).
I guess to go the long mile you could have another Public RSS Reader for some aggregated blogs, and an OPML for the Reading List…or even inhouse blogs…maybe not, this may be too much.
It would also be good if the groups area and user area had tabs for document types and tags at the user and group level.
It’s great that you can make a forum and also display it in a group, but what if you only want it in the groups area and not in the main area.
Anyway the homepage has: upcoming events, popular items, latest content (tab for document type) and a tag cloud.