Social Bookmarking – What is It?

Social bookmarks are a way for internet users to store, organize, search, share and manage web pages on the internet that they find of interest. They replace the traditional method of browser-based system of folders by encouraging users to organize their bookmarks with tags. Social bookmarking means storing your bookmarks online, tagging them, and sharing them online with other users. Users from all over the world bookmark sites or specific pages using their favorite social bookmarks. They can search through their bookmarks by keywords or by tags, and can access their bookmarks from any internet connection. Almost all social bookmark sites have the same basic features like browser bookmarklets for one-click link saving, RSS feeds, tags and sharing capabilities.

In a bookmarking system, users save links to web pages they want to remember or share by the use of RSS feeds. These bookmarks can then be organized into a list of tags that describe what the site is about. People are always searching for information, and search is probably the most important application on the web for surfers to find what they are looking for. Search engines give more relevancy to sites that have been recently modified or have added new content. This is where social bookmarks are one step ahead, notifying users when a site has been updated through the use of the RSS feeds. Instead of going into a search engine, typing something in, you can quickly narrow down the items to what you are looking for by searching the tags. You can even search through what other people have bookmarked as long as they remain public. So, what started out as a way to send bookmarks to friends has really grown into social search engines.

Social bookmark sites allow others to see your bookmarks and comment about them, creating interactivity among bookmark users. Social bookmarking is all about the collective voice and the power of the people. As these services have matured and grown more popular, they have added extra features such as ratings and comments on bookmarks, the ability to import and export bookmarks from browsers, emailing of bookmarks, web annotation, and groups or other social network features. A social bookmarking system can rank a resource, or website, based on how many times it has been bookmarked by users, whereas conventional search engines rank resources based on the number of external links pointing to it.

Social technologies are here to stay, and are already growing in popularity. Social bookmarks continue to be one of the driving forces of this evolving web. It is all about labeling the web, making it easier to find the content that you’re looking for by passing on what you’ve found. For users, social bookmark sites can be useful as a way to access a consolidated set of bookmarks from various computers, organize large numbers of bookmarks, and share bookmarks with contacts. Social bookmarking can allow you to share the sites that you own to others with relevant tastes, driving traffic to your site, and creating valuable backlinks.

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