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Social Bookmarking





What is Social Bookmarking?


According to Wikipedia, social bookmarking is defined as: “Social bookmarking is an activity performed over a computer network that allows users to save and categorize a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others.


Users may also take bookmarks saved by others and add them to their own collection, as well as to subscribe to the lists of others - a personal knowledge management tool.”


Actually, the idea was first launched back in 1996 as ‘itlist’. Other similar sites quickly followed but that all went belly-up with the dot-com bubble bust in 2001. The idea is new again now with the advent of Web 2.0 and this time around it is thriving.



Who is Using Social Bookmarking?


In a word....everybody! Researchers have found social bookmarking sites to be an invaluable tool as they conduct research and find the need to share information about research with their colleagues.


Professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers are using social bookmarking services in record numbers.


But social bookmarking is far more than simply a tool for research. People from all walks of like are using social bookmarking.


Users of popular websites like Friendster, FacE-Book and MySpace have found that it is very easy to share information about websites that they find to be of mutual interest.


Networks of friends can be set up so that whenever a new posting is made to a social networking site other members of the network are notified immediately by RSS feed.


With all of this instant communication happening, you can see why those who are involved in Internet marketing are very much in touch with social bookmarking sites.


These innovative marketers join such sites as Friendster, FacE-Book or MySpace and while they are having a lot of fun, they are also selling their products and services.


They are getting visitors to their websites. They are improving their PageRank. They have found that social bookmarking is one of the very best search engine optimization tools that have come along in a very long time.



How Does Social Bookmarking Work?


The basic concept of Web 2.0 is that it is user-directed and social bookmarking is a part of Web 2.0 so it is, of course, user directed. Social bookmarking is a way of organizing and categorizing information with the use of ‘tags’.


Tags are user generated and are based upon key words that identify the bookmark so this is a true user-directed way that information is organized and categorized.


When a bookmarked site is clicked on, the social bookmarking site identifies the person who created the bookmark and provides access to other sites that the same user has bookmarked.


Now, the person who created the bookmark and the tag is also provided information about how many times the link has been clicked on as well as who clicked on it.


This system makes it very easy for like-minded people to make social connections and to identify others who have the same interests. Over time a community of users develops.


As a community of users develops, they sometimes develop a very unique set of key words that define resources of common interest. These unique sets of keywords have come to be referred to as ‘folksonomy’.


Wikipedia defines the term, folksonomy as: “Folksonomy is a neologism for a practice of collaborative categorization using freely chosen keywords. More colloquially, this refers to a group of people cooperating spontaneously to organize information into categories.


In contrast to formal classification methods, this phenomenon typically only arises in non-hierarchical communities, such as public websites, as opposed to multi-level teams.”



How will Social Bookmarking Impact the Web?


Actually, it is pretty clear right now that social bookmarking is having a huge impact on the way that information is being classified, categorized, stored and exchanged.


It is impossible to believe that in the future the impact will be even stronger. Web 1.0 was static but Web 2.0 is fluid. The face is ever changing.


The technology that social bookmarking is based upon is really rather simple...there isn’t anything complex about it. It is user friendly. The level of knowledge needed to gain huge benefits from social bookmarking is low.


People do not have to be computer gurus to make use of the technology at all. The technology is so simple and the system is so easy to use that it will continue to grow in popularity into the foreseeable future.


Because of this inevitable growth of social bookmarking and the easily used tagging of such things as multimedia files, it may well be just as inevitable that the design and function of databases themselves will also change drastically.


They may have to change just to be able to accommodate this new way of managing information.



How is Social Bookmarking Affecting Education?


Teaching and learning are the two components of education. The objective of transferring information and knowledge from one person to another person or a group of persons is being greatly affected by social bookmarking.


The exchange of information and the coming together of like-minded individuals into loosely knitted online communities are both impacting education as a whole.


For so many centuries education suffered from slow communication. Today the internet itself has greatly speeded up communication and social bookmarking has doubled that speed in the last few years.


Social bookmarking has created a method whereby bibliographies, papers, etc. can be easily and quickly shared and accessed by multiple people at the same time. These same resources can be altered or edited in real time.



Why is Social Bookmarking Important to Internet Marketing?


There are several ways in which social bookmarking is having an affect on internet marketing. It would be hard to determine just which effect is having the greatest impact.


The ability to create tags using key words which social bookmarking sites allow is very attractive to internet marketers.


It didn’t take the internet marketing community long to figure out that these links and the backlinks that are created when the links are added to other favorites lists cause search engine spiders to visit websites and that PageRank can be dramatically increased along with the number of visitors to a website.


The more visitors, as any internet marketer worth his salt knows, means more sales of products and services.


So social bookmarking sites provide free advertisement, increase the number of visitors to a website and are a great search engine optimization tool to boot.


Another asset that internet marketers quickly became aware of that social bookmarking sites provide is that they are great research tools in and of themselves.


For example: a website owner might find that a ‘sailing’ tag is also associated with a ‘boat repair’ tag. That information can open doors for business expansion.



Is There a Down Side to Social Bookmarking?


If there is an up-side, you can bet there is always a down-side for anything and everything and social bookmarking is not the exception to that rule.


The very fact that social bookmarking is user driven is one of the potential down sides of it. Users are not professionals. Users are just people and the ability to use social bookmarking sites for fun as well as for profit does not require a great deal of technical knowledge.


As a matter of fact, it requires almost none. And because users are ‘amateurs’ (for lack of a better word), key words used in tags are not consistent. The information is sometimes scattered and key words that seem logical to amateurs don’t necessarily lead to related topics.


Yet another potential down-side and one that is happening more and more frequently is that users are abusing the system. Since it is a user driven system it is more susceptible to abuse and misuse.


There are spammers out there that are bookmarking the same site multiple times.


The idea, of course, is that the more times the link appears the better the search engine spiders like it and the more apt the link is to be clicked on and the more apt it is that the site will be visited.


More visitors always equal more sales of products and services.



What is The Bottom Line of Social Bookmarking?


The bottom line is that social bookmarking is here and it is here to stay. People are using social bookmarking sites to make social connections as well as to form communities.


From the internet marketing point of view, social bookmarking is a tool that can be used to increase search engine optimization, the number of website visitors and ultimately increase sales but there is also the possibility of the system being abused.


Like everything else...the more social bookmarking is abused, the less effective it will become.


Internet marketers are learning that they can have a lot of fun by using sites like MySpace, FacE-Book and Friendster and social bookmarking sites and make a lot of money in the process. It’s what is known as a win/win situation and one that internet marketers are flocking to in droves.




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Leon Edward is the blog owner and webmaster of  http://www.HomeBusinessIT.com where you'll find internet business ideas and Successful Internet Business Models info and internet made millionaires step by step blueprint plans , legitimate  internet home business reviewed , home business management and marketing information where you can even get step by step  affiliate marketing training to start your own affiliate marketing online business


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