Social Bookmarking is a way for internet users to save, or bookmark, a website, article, image, or video to an online service. When you Google “social bookmarking”, the second result, after the Wikipedia definition of social bookmarking, is Delicious, the leading online bookmark service. This is by far my favorite service to use in terms of organizing online bookmarks, and the one that this article will be based upon. So if you do not already have an account with Delicious, take a few moments to register, and then let’s begin.
The quickest way to add a bookmark to your Delicious account is to install the Delicious Toolbar for Firefox (always my recommended browser) or Internet Explorer (if you insist). Once installed, all you have to do to save a page that you are currently viewing to Delicious is to click on the “tag” button. Or, in Firefox, simply right-click and use the Bookmark in Delicious option.
If you prefer not to use plugins, or are on another browser such as Safari, Opera, or Google Chrome, then you can use the bookmarklets instead. Just drag the browser specific Bookmark on Delicious and My Delicious links onto your link toolbar. Once added, all you have to do is click on the Bookmark in Delicious link while on the page you want to save.
If, worst case scenario, you are on a browser with no way to add bookmarks or plugins, you can lookout for the Delicious icon () on sites you are viewing. Or you can go directly your Delicious homepage, and under the search box, click on the Save a new bookmark link.
When saving a bookmark to Delicious, be sure to include tags, or reference words, you would like to organize your bookmark with. For example, you could Bookmark this article on Delicious, and add the following tags: delicious howto socialbookmarking socialbookmark tutorials web2.0
Also, keep in mind that anything you bookmark is public unless you check the “Do Not Share” box when saving your link. See Delicious’ site for more about Delicious bookmark privacy.
Now that you are all setup and know what to look for, here are some of the reasons everyone should use social bookmarking and Delicious.
This is by far the biggest benefit to social bookmarking in general. Most internet users have several machines that they regularly surf the net on between home, work, school, public libraries, etc. Assuming we are not talking about a link to your financial accounts, why save a link to your local browser that you can only access when you are on one specific PC? Personally, in one day, I could use a max of 6 different machines. Therefore, social bookmarking is the best way for me to access everything I save.
There are a myriad of different reasons that you would want to save bookmarks to share with others. If you are going to be sharing your bookmarks with different people in your life (friends, coworkers, classmates, etc.), you could do it in two ways.
You could create separate Delicious accounts, and give your account link to the applicable people, and they could view all the links you have saved.
If you are ok with anyone being able to view all of your bookmarks, you can just create subject or group specific tags (work, forwork, forcoworkers, forDebbie, business, marketing, blogging, etc.) and then send the url to bookmarks under your account with that tag. So if I wanted to share my bookmarks that I tagged about Twitter, I would send you this – http://delicious.com/kikolani/twitter.
Now, you can share…
- The latest marketing news with your advertising team
- Security news with your IT department at work
- Health tips for certain illnesses with patients or members of a support group
- Book review articles with your book club
- Websites you find while researching an assignment with your classmates
- Amazing recipes with all the professional and at home chefs that you know
Do you ever come across articles about things that you would like to do one day, for example, take a trip somewhere? Why not save them, with specific tags such as: daytrip hiking ghosttown weekendtrip amusementpark beach international. Then the next time you have some time, you have a list of ideas ready to go for specific time lengths and destinations.
As a blogger, I come across useful articles, tips and tricks on a daily basis. Some of them I save because they are great articles that I have benefited from and want to share with other bloggers. There are also articles that I find that I want to apply to my site as soon as I can. I have started tagging these articles, along with pages I can use as examples, with the usual descriptive keywords, but also with actionsomething. So now, when I look at my tag list, I can see all of the articles that I want to take action with in terms of improving my site.
There are times when we all need a little inspiration. Whenever you come across something that inspires you, save it to your bookmarks. Tag well-designed websites as webinspiration, blog themes as themeinspiration, companies with great logos as logoinspiration, photos of beautifully decorated bedrooms as interiordesigninspiration or homeinspiration.
What better way to remember all of the cool things you find that you would love to have, but cannot buy right away, than to save it in a wishlist. Sure, you can create wishlists on Amazon and a variety of other sites, but what if you want everything in one place, or things from other online retailers without wishlists or registries? Just tag pages with things you want as wishlist. Sites, such as Crate and Barrel, promote doing this with a Bookmark and Share link for all the items on their site.
Aside from being able to share your complete wishlist with friends & family, you can also use this as a “do I really need it” item saver. I like to bookmark items that I don’t necessarily need, but just want at the time I find them. Then I wait for a certain length of time. If I’m still salivating at the thought of buying it, I know just where to find it. If I forget about it, then it wasn’t necessary, and I just saved money on an impulsive buy.
As mentioned in my comprehensive guide to using RSS, you can subscribe to Delicious feeds. So if you have a favorite user that you want to keep track of their bookmarking, you can go to that user’s page and at the bottom, subscribe using the “RSS Feed for these Bookmarks” link. You can narrow this down even further, and select a tag on that user’s page, then subscribe to anything the user bookmarks with that particular tag.
If you want to see the latest bookmarks on sites with a specific tag, it is almost the same process. Do a search for the subject you are interested in, and then click on “See all bookmarks tagged” link at the top left of the search results. On that page, you can again go down to the bottom and subscribe to any items with that particular tag.
On the other hand, if you would prefer to keep your subscriptions inside Delicious, you can go to the subscriptions page and add tags, or tags by specific users, and keep subscribed to bookmarks with the specific tag within Delicious.
If you find fellow users who are interested in the same things, you can add them to your network. When you are on a user’s page, under the search box at the top right, click “Add to Network”. Now, whenever you bookmark something that you would like to share with them, you will see them listed either under Network Tags as for:username, or under the People tab, depending on whether you are using the browser plugins or the chicklets. When people in your network share links with you, you will see a new message in your inbox, linked at the top right above the search box.
I hope that I have given everyone, from beginners to regular social bookmarkers a new use for social bookmarking. If I left any good uses out, or you would like to add a recommendation for another social bookmark network, please leave your suggestion in the comments below. And have fun bookmarking!
This is also my assignment for Day 2 of the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge.