At the time of writing, Social Stoke is only three away from reaching its 1,000th bookmark. What will it be?
The aim of Social Stoke is to build open, reusable lists of all the websites in Stoke-on-Trent, plus a useful resource bank for people in the city with ideas, products, resources and services from outside the city. It has been created using Delicious, a free 'social bookmarking' tool owned by Yahoo. Since then many alternative bookmarking tools have been suggested, but Delicious has become a habit. It was born, as so many things are, out of irritation. Every time I tried to find a business in the city on Google, I got some reputable business listing website which failed to link to the website itself. Many businesses, it turns out, spell their website name wrong on their vans, leading only to frustration for those (like me) who note them down to look up later. So this site has become an archive of some of the obscure local services we have here, at least those that have got online so far. The site also has a spin-off blog with links to such useful stuff as what people are saying about Stoke-on-Trent on Twitter.
The tag cloud has become a reflection of the state of digital use in our city. Many more of our towns and villages have a presence than was the case even a year ago. Longton, for example, has a blossoming range of sites for its residents associations and others who love it. The tag cloud shows that we still have numerous potteries - and there will be still more to add. Hopefully by looking at what others in the city are doing, it will be easier for groups and small businesses to start their own sites. It's exciting to see how many more local people and organisations are using Twitter, and well.
There is, however, a lot missing because the cloud follows the interests and whims of its volunteers. If you have a mildly compulsive streak and would like to add to the tag cloud, you can do so by signing up to delicious and adding bookmarks, including the tag 'for:socialstoke' and any tags you feel should also be included, for example place and topic.
You are welcome to use the lists as well as add to them. Perhaps you would find it useful to have a list of other residents associations on your own site, for example, or different businesses. If you have a site that allows it, just take the RSS feed (intro to this here) of the list you're interested in and it can be added to your own site, or you can follow new links using feed readers.