Social Bookmarking 101

del.icio.usThe idea behind “social bookmarking� has become incredibly popular lately as del.icio.us led the charge. In a nutshell, it is a website where you create a free account and then you can bookmark your favorite websites & pages by categorizing them with “tags� and even giving them your own description so that you can remember later why you bookmarked the site in the first place.

I was a skeptic and never saw much of a use for it at first. Then I had people asking me for links to sites for various reasons. I found myself sending the same links to multiple people over and over. Then I was in situations where I would be out of town or at work and wondering what the address of that neat site was that I found at home. I needed a way to share my favorite sites with not only other people…but myself as well! Enter social bookmarking.

I started by using del.icio.us, which was acquired by Yahoo! in 2005. It provides incredibly simple ways to bookmark my favorite sites with my method of choice being a button that is in my Firefox browser. When I find a cool site that I want to keep, I click the button and a new window pops up allowing me to enter a description and “tag� it with keywords. Let’s say I found a cool site showing off some new CSS code (probably not exciting to you, but these are my bookmarks!). I would “tag� it with keywords such as CSS (duh), web-development, webdesign, etc. One fault that I found in del.icio.us is that you cannot have spaces between words, so I had to use hyphens or no spaces at all. So I could even tag the neat CSS site with ohwowthisissweetandtotallygoingonthenewAIOsite. You get the point.

Ma.gnolia.comIf you’re new to social bookmarking or have never heard of Ma.gnolia, then you are about to be a happy camper. This slick new site has added a fresh face to social bookmarking and has become my new sweetheart (I’m sorry del.icio.us…we can still be friends). It offers a clean look, more options, a star-rating system, groups, and so much more. You can join a group that has similar interest as yours and it will show you popular bookmarks from that group. You can also contribute your favorite (relevant) links to the group as well. Below is a sample bookmark from a member in a group that I am in:

Ma.gnolia.com Screenshot

In that clipping you can see the name of the site, star rating, description, ability to add it to your own bookmarks, tags associated with it (in case you want to see similar bookmarks for that user), and the user’s name. This information alone can start an entire chain reaction of new learning, so make sure you have some spare time and plenty of caffeine to keep you going!

If any of you have any other sites, tips, or tricks about social bookmarking then spill the beans in the comment section below!

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