Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Basics of social bookmarking

What is it?

No doubt, everything you have read so far has given you some indication of what social bookmarking sites are and what they do. Let’s try to break it down into even simpler terms. Social bookmarking is the practice whereby you can save your bookmarks to a public website and tag them according to content, type etc.

In order to create your own collection of social bookmarks or be able to view others’,you must register with the social bookmarking website in question first. The site will allow you to store bookmarks, make tags, decide upon which of your tags should be made public and which should be kept private. Some social bookmarking will do periodic checks on the bookmarks to make sure that the links still work, and as suggested, those visiting social bookmark websites can perform searches by

keywords, popularity or person.

Who does it?

Social bookmarking is useful for just about any one who uses the internet avidly and loves information. Social bookmarking is particularly appropriate and useful for pooling resources from research from around the world.

How does it work?

Social bookmarking is a new way of organizing information and categorizing resources, making everything easier to access in the process. The person creating the bookmark must assign a tag or a group of tags to each link or resource. This creates a user directed and defined classification of information. Social bookmarking services show who created particular bookmarks and also give access to other bookmarks created by the same person. Users can therefore make social connections with other users interested in the same topic by following these tags. As a user you can also see how many people have used a particular tag and search amongst all the resources with the same tag. Over time, users of a particular community site tend to develop a unique set of key words to describe their resources. This is known as ‘folksonomy’.

Why is it important?

Social bookmarking gives users a unique opportunity to express their own personal take on information and resources, as well as on the organization of these
resources. The process of social bookmarking allows people of similar interests and tastes to locate each other and create a sort of online cyber-community.
It follows that using folksonomy as a tool for research allows you to benefit from the insights and research of other users, and this helps you find information relevant to what you are looking for, as well as topics that are not directly related (such as those
that show up in key word searches). For example if your search is based on cars, you may also notice that other users found some connection between cars and car repair services, and this could prove to be a valuable connection and resource for you, either personally or on a business level. Furthermore, the collections of these folksonomies keep changing and are therefore generally up to date. Social bookmarking also allows users to rank tags and this acts as a collaborative filter of sorts and enables you to find your most relevant results.
Where is it headed?

Social bookmarking is not a technological marvel, and indeed the technology behind it is quite simple. The basic idea on which social bookmarking is built, that is tagging, is now spreading into other applications as well such as email and multimedia files.

As the net gradually moves away from ‘formal’ taxonomies and terminology, it will change the way that online communities come together and interact. The horizon of resources available on the internet is changing, new ways of classifying information
are constantly emerging and much of it is user directed and controlled. Keeping this in mind, it is more than likely that in the future, the organization and function of databases may change as well.
Why use it?

The most obvious advantage of using social bookmarks is accessibility. You can access your favorite websites from any computer and even from your mobile phone! You could argue that if you wanted to access any kind of information, you could
simply enter key words into any search ‘engine’ and gets thousands or even millions
of results, but that is exactly the problem.

No matter how fast or how many results a search engine may yield, it is still selected by a computer. In essence, computer software is trying to determine the meaning of your search. On the other hand, bookmarks are the result of discerning, deliberate
human action. Furthermore, such bookmarks within a social bookmarking service are usually focused upon a certain topic or attract a certain kind of user.
For example, if you and I share an interest in celebrity gossip, then you are likely to benefit from my bookmarks list much more so than running a search in one of the major search engines.

Besides that, you will also have a certain ‘word of mouth’ recommendation about the site. You don’t have to waste time figuring out which is a good website to catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip – you would simply log on to the social bookmarking
website and choose from recommendations by fellow gossip-holics.
Perhaps this is the most important advantage of social bookmarking. It has the ability to incorporate human intelligence. Furthermore, a community of like minded people can help you sort between good and bad content. This is something that search engines try to figure out by way of algorithms but is difficult to achieve.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, as well as the content!
    Check out my blog post My site