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An Introduction To Social Bookmarking

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/15/2009

Ever wonder how to organize the Internet in a way that caters to your tastes and preferences while simultaneously saving your favorites? What you need is social bookmarking. Here is a quick guide to get you introduced to one of the best tools in Web 2.0

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    The Social Bookmarking Revolution

    The Internet is big. How are you supposed to find and organize all of that information? Even with search engines it is difficult to organize that mass of articles, sites, pictures, and movies in ways that fit your personal preferences and interests. That's where social bookmarking steps in. Bookmarking sites help you manage, find, and save the content that is most interesting to you and then, more importantly, share it with friends, relatives, and everyone else on the Internet.

    This simple concept has been revolutionizing the way we use the internet. It puts the power in the hands of the users to find and organize their own content. If you haven't registered on a social bookmarking site, it is time to join the revolution that finally makes using the Internet fun and worthwhile.


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    Five Reasons to Start Using Them

    1) Have all your bookmarks in one place:: While every browser has the ability to save favorites and bookmarks, these bookmarks can only be accessed on that computer in that browser window. What if you want to pull it up on your work computer or, as is becoming increasingly popular, on your cell phone? Saving your favorite sites on the web allows you to access them anywhere, anytime.

    2) Organize your favorite websites: If you're searching habits are anything like mine, you find a cool site, bookmark it, then never find it again. To find an article you read two months ago you have to either go through a huge list or navigate a web of folders in a little drop-down menu of the browser. Chances are, you'll never find it again. Social Bookmarking allows quick and easy access to anything you bookmark. For example, some sites allow you to add tags to your favorites, providing a quick and easy way to find and organize like sites. Want to find that article on fishing you read last week? Just click on the fishing tag and everything you tagged with "fishing" will come up.

    3) Share your bookmarks with others and see what other people are bookmarking. This is social for a reason. With these you create a profile that you can share with your friends so that they can see what you're a fan of. Some sites, like Twine, provide groups of people united by a like interest so that they can share bookmarks on the topic and build a community. It's another step to the Internet feeling like a community, getting you involved in the experience and sorting of all of that content.

    4) Find and sort new content:  There are two ways social bookmarking provides you with new articles and websites. The first is by simply providing the most popular content. Good articles float to the top while bad ones fall out the bottom. Most of these sites let you rate any bookmark up or down so that there is a constant shuffling of online material.You can also sort this content by tags and categories so that you can see what is the most popular in "Science" for that day, or which sites get tagged as "fishing" the most. Normally this will get you some good, interesting sites.

    Perhaps more important, however, is content that is personalized to you. They take what you have bookmarked, analyze it, and provide you with more sites like it. You can then further rate these to give it a better indication of the sort of content you want to see. Over time it provides you with an excellent stream of new Internet content that is catered just for you. A few sites specialize in this but more and more are adding similar features.

    5) Comment and have discussions on interesting websites you find: Once you've found and marked some good content, part of the fun is the discussions that can start up around a bookmark. You can review it, bash it, tell how stupid it is--whatever. A lot of times you can get up good discussions and build incredible communities of people online.

    As you can see. Social bookmarks move you beyond the traditional internet experience, providing you with a never ending flow of good content for you to mark, tag, and file as you like.