3.10 Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites let you share your Internet bookmarks (e.g., your favorite websites, blogs, and articles) through a website. Users can access these bookmarks from any computer and discover new sites by searching popular bookmarks and tags. Some of the most popular social bookmarking sites are del.icio.us, Ma.gnolia, Blue Dot, StumbleUpon, Simpy andFurl.
del.icio.us, a self-described “collection of favorites,” reported its two-millionth user registration in March 2007.1 Users can add a bookmark by going to the site or by using thedel.icio.us downloadable browser buttons. Some sites post clickable badges—a button provided by del.icio.us to “save this page”—that make it easy for users to bookmark the site using del.icio.us.
del.icio.us is a great example of a Web 2.0 company that uses tagging, social networking and user-generated content. When bookmarking a website, users can add notes and tags to describe the site. These tags are searchable and help organize sites, making it easier for users to find the content they want based on what other users have recommended (by bookmarking). Users can also add descriptions to tags, which can help clear up what a certain tag might mean to different people. Thus, searching for content on del.icio.us is based on collaborative filtering rather than search engine algorithms. The site also offers a fully searchablepodcasting section.
Third parties can use the del.icio.us web services API to build tools and incorporate social bookmarking functionality into their applications (see Section 3.13, Web Services, Mashups, Widgets and Gadgets). For example, Adobe Illustrator uses the del.icio.us technology to organize bookmarks in the program’s documentation.2
“If searching was the first day of the web, people helping each other find what they want must be the second.”
Ma.gnolia is another social bookmarking site offering tagging and convenient bookmark accessibility through the site. Bookmarked pages are saved (when possible) so users need not worry about losing content if a page goes offline. The site also provides browser buttons (bookmarklets) for posting sites to Ma.gnolia, and a “roots” feature, which lets you see what other users have said about a site while surfing the Internet. Ma.gnolia encourages social networking through user groups and a private messaging feature. To deal with spam, Ma.gnolia trusts handpicked moderators, called “gardeners.”4