A Guide To Social Bookmarking

Posted on: 07 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Discover new websites, store your favourites wherever you are and share them with friends.


Social bookmarking allows internet users to 'bookmark' websites or pages that they find useful, interesting or amusing. This content could include articles, news, blogs, videos, photos or podcasts.

Users can store and organise these with a social bookmarking website. Unlike a 'favourites' or 'bookmarks' list on your PC, you can access these links from any computer via the web, whether you're at home, work, a friend or relative's house, library or internet cafe.

Once you've bookmarked something you can tag it. This means choosing key words to categorise it. For example you might add the tags 'chocolate, cake, recipe, food'.

This helps you to organise your bookmarks so that when you want to search for something or browse your links you can easily locate the relevant articles.

It also helps other internet users find links of interest to them. They will tag content too so you can do the same.

As well as bookmarking your own favourites, you can read things that other people have found and bookmarked. Because all the links on social bookmarking websites have been personally chosen by real human beings, it's a good way to find interesting content.

The popularity of a link is determined by people either adding it to their own favourites, or rating the content.

On some sites you can vote on whether you like or dislike a link, which will help the service discover what interests you so it can recommend more of what you like. Those who 'digg' something or give it the 'thumbs up' help send it to the top of the site's link listings, while the more something is 'buried' or 'downmoded', the faster it will disappear from the page.

You can look at articles that the service directs you to, or browse yourself, through friends' favourites or by searching with key words. In addition to voting, you can comment on links.

It's possible to keep your bookmarks private if you prefer, but it's fun and easy to share things you like with friends, family or colleagues, and even other internet users with the same interests.

How Can I Get Started?

First, take a look at a number of social bookmarking websites to get a feel for which one you would prefer to use, as they all work in different ways.

Then register. This is free. You'll need to choose a username and password.

Now you can begin adding links. There are several ways to do this:

  • Visit the social bookmarking site and add a link to a favourite article, video or other piece of content.
  • Install a button from the website onto your computer's internet browser so that whenever you come across something interesting online you can just click on your toolbar to add it to your bookmarks.
  • On many websites, such as 50connect, you will see a panel on the page saying something such as 'Bookmark With:' and logos of social bookmarking sites. If you find an article on 50connect or another website that you want to save to refer to in future or share with other people, all you have to do is click on the icon of the social bookmarking site you're registered with to add the piece of content to your links.

Web Links

Some social bookmarking sites:

Del.icio.us

Digg.com

Reddit.com

www.StumbleUpon.com

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