What does Social Bookmarking means?
If you enjoyed the content on a website while you were surfing the net, chances are you would want to return to that website at a later stage to see what new content the website has to offer. You would then bookmark this website in your browser, so all you have to do is click a dropdown box to go to the site next time.
Social bookmarking follows the same principle, but the only difference is that you’ll be sharing your bookmark with everybody on the internet.
Social bookmarking platforms like Delicious.com, Digg.com, Technorati.com, StumbleUpon.com, and Reddit.com allows their users to share bookmarks to sites, blogs and online articles with everyone who has access to the social bookmarking forum.
The Social bookmarks are placed on the social interface by tagging them with tag words and also a comment on why you found this website, webpage, blog or eJournal worth mentioning and why you think other users might find the site interesting.
Social bookmarking platforms allows users to categorize their bookmarks into different categories, which allows users to find relevant bookmarks a lot easier.
The advantages of social bookmarking:
One could argue that social bookmarking is similar to looking for information on a search engine. As the links that SERP (Search Engine Page Results) provide, are essentially the same links that social bookmarking sites provide.
The essential difference and advantage of using links from a social bookmarking interface to that of a search engine is the human factor.
In a social bookmarking network the links come from people who have viewed the site’s content, understood and enjoyed it and now want to share it with others.
Search engines provide relevant links to their users through algorithms, and algorithmically categorize and sort it for the user. Algorithms take a while to index sites and people can tag sites on social bookmarking forums before spiders get to them.
A social bookmarking forum also ranks their bookmarks based on the how many times it has been bookmarked, which is a more useful ranking measure than the inbound linking method used by search engines to decide rank.
The disadvantages of social bookmarking:
When people tag a site on a social bookmarking forum they are allowed to place any text to label the tag. This leads to inconsistency in the way information is organized and tagged. It means that somebody looking for information might be misled as to the content that the link is providing.
Social bookmarking is susceptible to spamming. Spammers bookmark the same webpage multiple times and use popular tags to direct traffic to their website in order to gain better SEO rankings.
The threshold to participate in social bookmarking is very low, which means that the links are provided by people who might not always understand the content they are linking to perfectly.