Social Networking, Bookmarking, and Sharing

One of my commenters last week asked about the difference between social bookmarking and social networking sites. I think of social networking sites as ones where you can communicate directly with other members, where as social bookmarking sites are ones that you can add bookmarks to be shared with other members without as much direct communication.

There are sites that are definitely considered one or the other, but some sites offer both bookmarking and networking features. Here are some networks that can be used for both purposes.


Favorite Tweets on Twitter
Favorite a Tweet on Twitter

Social Networking Features
Follow Twitter users
Status updates to all followers
Direct public messaging through @replies
Direct private messaging to users following you

Social Bookmarking Features
Save tweets in your Favorites to share with everyone

Most people think of Twitter as simply a social networking site. But one of the most popular things to share in the 140 character status updates are links to websites. If you have a lot of followers, chances are you have seen one or two tweets with links to articles that you would like to come back to later.

This is where Favorites comes into play. You can easily save tweets by clicking on the star. This will effectively bookmark the tweets in your Favorites section for later. I’m not sure if there is a limit to the number of tweets you can save in your favorites, but at the moment, I can access over a hundred favorite tweets from a year ago.


Facebook Links
Attaching a Link to a Facebook Status

Social Networking Features
Add Facebook members as friends
Direct public messaging on walls
Direct private messaging through Facebook email
Connect through applications
Join groups and fan pages

Social Bookmarking Features
Attach links in status updates

I’m sure most people wouldn’t consider Facebook the ideal place for social bookmarking. But one way that Facebook could be used as a social bookmarking tool is through adding links. Whenever you add a URL into a Facebook status message, it gives you the option of attaching it as a link. These links will be shared with your Facebook friends in the News Feed, and will also be saved on your profile under your Links tab. Currently, I can still access 114 links saved since August of 2008.


StumbleUpon Share
Sharing Bookmarks on StumbleUpon

Social Networking Features
Subscribe to StumbleUpon members
Direct private messaging through the share button or StumbleUpon email

Social Bookmarking Features
Save bookmarks with reviews and tags

StumbleUpon is a good example of mixing social networking and social bookmarking, although the social networking side has gotten a bit more difficult since the new StumbleUpon update. StumbleUpon’s main focus is discovering websites that others will be interested in and adding them to your favorites. You can use StumbleUpon purely for social bookmarking by thumbing up sites to your favorites – just be sure to tag your favorites with keywords that you will remember to search for later, such as having a collection of WordPress themes or Twitter resources. Also, you can go a bit further by adding a review – like your your favorite part of the article – as a reminder of why you liked the article when you go searching for it later.

StumbleUpon also allows you to connect with other members who have particular interests and share sites with them through mutual subscriptions. In the previous version, you could request to be friends with someone and, once they accept, you will be mutual subscribers. Now, the process involves either messaging someone asking to exchange subscriptions or subscribing to someone else first and letting them know, in hopes that they will subscribe back to you so you can share pages with each other.


Delicious Send
Sending a Link on Delicious

Social Networking Features
Add Delicious members to your network

Social Bookmarking Features
Save bookmarks with reviews and tags

Delicious is known primarily as a social bookmarking site. There are many great ways to use Delicious for bookmarking, such as bookmarking posts with descriptive tags so you can find them later. But you can also connect with other members by adding them to your network and sharing your bookmarks with them using the Send field.


Diigo Send
Sending a Link on Diigo

Social Networking Features
Add Diigo members as friends
Direct private messaging

Social Bookmarking Features
Save bookmarks with reviews and tags

Diigo allows you to save bookmarks to your library, as well as share your bookmarks with your friends and in groups.


Amplify Forward
Forwarding a Link on Amplify

Social Networking Features
Follow Amplify members
Direct private messaging to members following you

Social Bookmarking Features
Save bookmarks with clips, reviews, and tags

Amplify is a social bookmarking network built on WordPress that lets you save bookmarks to your Amplog. You can highlight selected portions of the page to be included in your Amplog entry, as well as add your own personal review and tags. Once you have connected with other members through mutual following, you can send direct messages and share your bookmarks with them.

Your Favorite Social Bookmarking / Social Networks

What networks do you prefer when it comes to social bookmarking and networking? Do you like the combination of both features, or do you prefer keeping bookmarking separate from networking?

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  1. says

    Very nice comparison of both! You have differentiated the two in a very simple way and with at ease! Man you’re good! It’s no wonder why you’re included in the top 10 bloggers.. :) Atta girl! More power! :)

  2. says

    There’s another way to divide up these sites: self-promotion allowed or not.

    Some sites like Twitter actively encourage you to talk about yourself and what you’re doing.

    Others, like StumbleUpon, frown upon promoting your own links to the point of possibly banning you.

    I think I disagree with the latter. You should be able to promote your own site, but it would up to others to vote it up or down.
    .-= New from J @ The Digital Life & Tools Blog Updating Your WordPress Blog Too Frequently: Avoiding Getting Banned from Ping Services =-.

  3. says

    I primarily use Twitter, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg and sites like that to find new and interesting sites/posts – I also post a lot of my own blog posts and comments on my twitter account @matiassingers.
    It increases my visitor/reader count greatly and the Twitter community is always ready to leave a comment. I don’t think my blog could exist without these social networks.
    .-= New from Matias Singers 3 iPhone application giveaway =-.

  4. says

    I would say that I have seen Networked Blogs used very effectively to social bookmark and to network as well. I have also seen some very effective uses of Stumble Upon to share one’s own content, as well as it is just one of many links that are shared with others. One of my new favorites is, which can be used for both, and it allows you to post to multiple sites once you have saved the content.
    .-= New from Steve-Personal Success Factors Warning: Worrying May Be Good For Your Career! =-.

  5. says

    A very good read. :) I uses Twitter more often although I find the Facebook is a more powerful tool.

    Reason for not using is because Facebook is too personal for me where friends are connected to share personal experiences instead of online knowledge. They will probably hide/block my status updates in no time if I were to share with them my 10Steps.SG design news.

  6. says

    I am a bookmarker – site supporter buddy blogger, how’s that?
    I don’t interact much with people on the net unless I follow their blogs and support their efforts. Sometimes people get caught up with seating in front of the computer instead of face to face interaction and to mean it is a poor and unhealthy substitute. for me it is nothing like the REAL THING! lol
    I do enjoy the few online friends I have encountered this past couple of years, don’t get me wrong. I run a site past my husband and if he doesn’t have a problem I use it.
    .-= New from BunnygotBlog The Clique Of Frigid Bitches Or Are They? =-.

  7. says

    Although I wasn’t thrilled with some of their recent updates, I love StumbleUpon. I’ve met some great people and found some sites that I may not have otherwise found. Its really easy to “stumble through” shares, so its my favorite for social bookmarking.

    Facebook is a fave for more in depth networking with people.
    .-= New from Nea | Self Improvement Saga What Love is Not – A Life Lesson on Attachment, Infatuation, and Lust =-.

  8. says

    Great article! I have to admit I had never really looked at Twitter from a social bookmarking point of view I always considered it a straight up social network, for bookmarking I had always turned to Stumble, Digg, Reddit. Looks like I’m going to have to re-visit my twitter ideas. Thanks for the great information.

  9. says

    Thank you for this nice post on social networking sites. I always like to read the post related to social media. My most favorite social networking site is stumbleupon, just one click we can discover new sites on stumbleupon. The sites submitted on SU are really very amazing. Well I have some good collection on my SU favorite. You can visit my SU profile at
    .-= New from chandan New program at google work at home affiliate network-February 10, 2010 =-.

  10. says

    Excellent comparing and contrasting of the different sites and functions. I use most of them although I still don’t have a very good grasp on using Facebook. Amplify was new to me and I’ll have to check it out. Thanks.
    .-= New from Mike @ Computer Tips PCs, Macs and Security, Oh My =-.

  11. says

    I think you just have hit it on the nail, Kristi. With social bookmarking you or others can bookmark each others’ stuff and communicate with each other without talking to each other upfront – while social networking is exactly that.