Introduction to social bookmarking

What is social bookmarking?

When you first chanced upon the b2b guide to social media and, realising what a useful and highly valuable resource it would prove to be, you cut the link, pasted it into an email and sent it to all your family and friends, you were engaging in a primitive form of social bookmarking.

Put simply, social bookmarking is tagging a website and saving it somewhere for later browsing, or – because your bookmark is online, you can share this with others as well.

How do you social bookmark?

First you need to sign up for a social bookmarking site. I have just set up an account on Delicious (which actually means setting up a Yahoo account, setting up a Delicious account and following the instructions to set a bookmarklet and linking my Twitter account – I’ll blog about this in the next week).

Think of a bookmark as an online ‘favourites’ tab that you can access easily no matter which computer you are using. Depending on which bookmarking sites you choose to use, the way to do it does vary.

Why is it useful?

Social bookmarking sites allow you to see how many others have tagged a particular web page and also search the entire site for subject related tags others have identified and saved (and use this to judge a website’s popularity). As a user, you get access to the right info quickly. As a website owner, you get to disseminate content more quickly.

Social bookmarking sites contain a bank of websites that have been added and managed by people, often allowing a more focused and accurate results to be delivered. The opportunity for users to add ratings and comments also enhances this and can speed up the research process.

How can I get started?

There are a number of bookmark management tools in operation that allow you to register an account free of charge. The most popular of these is Delicious (http://www.delicious.com/) – a selection of others can be found at the following link: http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking-websites. We’ll be blogging on these in more detail shortly.

Once registered, you can set up key categories, tag, store and track web pages of interest, and monitor interest in a specific topic and the most popular online sources that relate to it.

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