Top Ten Social Bookmarking Sites Reviewed

Social Bookmarking - What is it?

As with many of the most popular areas of the web, social bookmarking has its roots in academia where educators and learners shared data and information with others.

With the benefits of ‘sharing’ now commonplace in social networking, social bookmarking allows users to share quickly and easily, lists and bookmarks on particular topics. Using tags or keywords the social bookmarker is able to add a website to lists of similar and relevant sites. Such a list is called folksonomy and may take on a whole new vocabulary of its own as similarly interested users communicate with each other.

Unlike file sharing the actual resources themselves aren’t shared, just the bookmarks and tags that link to them. In this way it’s a highly efficient and easily accessible use of internet linking.

Why is it important?

Social bookmarking essentially has two purposes. For the website owner it’s a highly efficient way of creating backlinks and traffic to a particular website. Because the link is content-specific each tag and keyword for it should be able to attract highly targeted visitors so quality of website visitors, if done correctly, should be high.

For the consumer it’s a highly efficient way of keeping in touch with particular subjects of interest. By subscribing to the RSS feed of the bookmark site they are able to keep in constant touch with the addition of new tags and items on the list.

This sharing is inherent and crucial to the effectiveness and popularity of social media websites. This is also a fundamental difference between social bookmarking and search engines which typically rely on non-human algorithms often losing the context of the resource.

Top 10 Social Bookmarking Sites (January 2012 *)

Many people are now using their Twitter Lists tab as a social bookmark with it being easily accessible and taggable by other users of one of the world’s largest social networking sites. Limited access without subscription but if you socially network you probably already have a Twitter account. Useful video about increase Twitter Influence using lists

“Discover the best news around the web and let your friends see what you’re reading” is a new addition of a Social Newsbar to show up to the minute, trending topics of interest. Good access to sample content without subscription. A helpful introduction and useful tips page

With an ‘explore box’ to quickly access information on particular topics StumbleUpon aims to “help you explore new and interesting things from every corner of the web… amazing web pages, videos, photos and more that you wouldn’t have found on your own. As you Stumble through great web pages, tell us whether you Like or Dislike our recommendations so we can show you more of what’s best for you. We’ll show you web pages based on that feedback as well as what similar Stumblers and the people you follow have Liked or Disliked.” Very limited access before subscribing and far closer than most social bookmarks to being a search engine.

Very consumer focused and at times controversial with huge traffic of over 2 billion page views in December 2011 and 34,000,000 unique users Reddit is social with a capital S. Perhaps limited value for B2B organisations and unwieldy for some Reddit has plans for subreddit development through 2012.

With a focus on viral and trending news and trivia BuzzFeed ranks stories and links based on their share performance For website and content owners BuzzFeed has a Viral Dashboard that allows tracking and acceleration of viral content through web-based analytics.

One of the founding members of the social bookmarking scene Delicious continues to perform well in it’s clearly categorised subjects and ‘stacks’ of content under each. For those new to social bookmarking this is a great introduction into the intricacies of the subject and easily navigated. A simple Delicious Bookmarklet is an easy ‘save on Delicious’ option that works on any browser.

With an interface like StumbleUpon and integration with Twitter Tweetmeme allows fast search and retweeting of the most popular stories and links on Twitter. More of a real time and trending topics service for those who use Twitter on a daily basis.

If quirky news is your thing then Fark is “a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site. Every day Fark receives 2,000 or so news submissions from its readership, from which we hand-pick the funny and weird notable news—and not-news—of the day.” Does what it says on the tin.

A little like a trip down memory lane to the News Groups of Internet 1.0 Slashdot is a communal sharing space for those into linux, cloud, storage and tech.

Based on integration with Facebook and Twitter to draw in your existing social networks, “FriendFeed enables you to discover and discuss the interesting stuff your friends find on the web.” With the ‘share’ and ‘like’ features of the big two it’s questionnable as to how much added value is being provided here.

Of all of the available social bookmarking sites my current favourite is where you can curate content rich, engaging links to a host of multi media resources, articles, web pages and videos. Try my page for social bookmarks of blogs, news and features from the world of digital marketing, communications and social media.

What about other social sites through which you can do related bookmarking style activity?

Spotify on Facebook, Quora, Tripit, Technorati, Google Bookmarks, AddThis

Good Sources for Further Reading

Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites January 2012 *

Wikipedia’s list of sites

Getting Started guide

How to Export and Import Chrome Bookmarks