Iâ€™m always surprised by the lack of use and popularity of social bookmarking so while this may be written for the inexperienced web browser, I hope youâ€™ll all appreciate my take on social bookmarking and give it another look.
Iâ€™m sure you are as familiar with your web browserâ€™s Favorites or Bookmarks as you are with email. This handy feature allows you to save links to websites you enjoy for easy reference in the future. While handy, most people are increasingly frustrated with organizing hundreds of links and having separate bookmark lists at home and work. Like me, you probably have that great movie review site bookmarked at home but can never remember the web address when you get in the office!
A hot topic in the media today is web 2.0 and having read any of the articles, you may have heard about a few sites with strange names like reddit or delicious. These websites are the answer to our prayers.
Called Social Bookmark Managers, these sites are being used by all the cool kids to organize their favorite websites. They allow you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to organize those sites with key words that are easy to remember, and to share your collection between different browsers and computers. Your favorites list is no doubt filtered alphabetically or in folders requiring you to maintain the list by sorting or categorizing the sites into different collections. That novel approach is as old fashioned and effective as your file cabinet, requiring that you remember where you put those links when you want to recall them. Bookmark managers have a different approach allowing you to â€œtagâ€ your favorite links with familiar key terms; associating any word you want with that link.
Letâ€™s say you, like me, work for HP and you want to bookmark hp.com, hpshopping.com, bestbuy.com, and iTunes. In the old file cabinet Favorites model youâ€™d have folders for work and storesâ€¦ or maybe computers and music, noâ€¦ perhaps work, electronics shopping, and mp3s. Heck with organizing them, just keep them in a list.
Social Bookmarks allow you to ignore the decision and do them all:
- hp.com â€“ work, computers, electronics, shopping
- hpshopping.com â€“ work, stores, computers, electronics, shopping
- Bestbuy.com – stores, computers, electronics, shopping
- iTunes â€“ stores, music, mp3s
Surely, Iâ€™m not sharing this web 2.0 miracle with you simply to make your life easier?? Certainly not! Social Bookmark Managers also allow you to share these bookmarks with peers, friends, family, or anyone. In this shared world, you have made it easier for others to find your favorites based on the key words youâ€™ve associated with them. The words you associated with a page are also added to a database and aggregated with all the other keywords and users that also like that page, in the public domain, those links are organized by popularity with the sites that are bookmarked the most, appearing most prominently to everyone else.
Say for a moment that money is no object and you want to do some shopping for a luxury car. You head to Google and I imagine youâ€™d expect to get results for BMX, Lexus, and Mercedes? Give it a try: ForbesAutos.com, Automotive.com, bhrentacar.com (this isnâ€™t helping my lofty goal of that new car!), next is luxcarnet.com then Cadillac!
Letâ€™s try this out with a social bookmarking site. The most popular is Del.icio.us (yep, it is spelled that way). Top 5? Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Lexus, Audi, and Cadillac followed by luxury car reviews. Now weâ€™re talking.
Imagine if each of your employees bookmarked your website. Give it a try.
- Install the del.icio.us buttons on your browser so you can easily tag and bookmark sites. These buttons are just like the favorites link on your browser, just use this instead.
- Visit your favorite sites and push the button to â€œtag” those sites as you post them to del.icio.us. Remember, simply put in a series of keywords that you feel best describes the page that you are on.
- Usually, when the site is already bookmarked by others, they will recommend popular keywords
- To return to your bookmarks, go to “https://del.icio.us/YourUsername”