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Social Bookmarking For Dummies: How Does It Work?

Social bookmarking is a unique method for Internet users to store, organize, share and search bookmarks of web pages. In this system, users save links to Web pages that they want to remember and/or share.

These bookmarks are usually public, but depending on the service's features, may be saved privately, shared only with specific people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of publicness and privateness. The allowed people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, via a search engine, or even randomly.

To put it simply, social bookmarking is bookmarking in public. This accomplishes two things: first, your bookmarks are accessible not just from one computer, but from anywhere you can access the Web; and second, instead of having a huge list of disorganized bookmarks or favorites in your browser, you have a database of organized bookmarks where it's easy to locate what you need. Today, there are a lot of technology, and special interest sites that offer reviews, quick tutorials and overviews on the basics, as well as the advance aspects of social bookmarking .

Organizing Bookmarks With Informal Tags

Most social bookmarking services generally encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them.

Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks. In addition, many bookmarking services provide Web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags, as this allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.

The Advantages Of Using Social Bookmarking Systems

Social bookmarking has several advantages over traditional resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders. All tag-based sorting and classification of Internet Web sites, is done by human beings, who understand the content of the resource, whereas, a computer software electronically attempts to determine the meaning or value, of a resource or site.

Additionally, as people bookmark resources that they find useful, resources that are of more use are bookmarked by more users. As such, a system will "rank" a resource based on its perceived utility. This is arguably a more useful method for end users than other systems, which rank resources based on the number of external links pointing to it.

At present, there area a lot of bookmarking Web sites that help different levels of users and interests groups. There are sites that serve the bookmarking needs of students, university professors, doctors, Web programmers and designers, engineers, and others.

Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to be aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.

As these services have improved and become 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. Among the more popular sites are Digg, Furl, del.icio.us, Diggo, StumbleUpon, Newsvine, Reddit, Netvous, SiteBar and Thoof.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor

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