Years have passed after the Internet came along, and now using the web has become almost second nature for everyone. As such, the notion of bookmarking is something many people are familiar with. Bookmarks are a way for Internet users to organise, search and manage websites or web resources on their computers through their browser’s Bookmark tool. Once bookmarked, sites are saved for later reference and can be searched and organised in folders.
However, bookmarking websites this way can easily clutter up your bookmarks menu in a very short span of time, and due to the poor searching and organising capabilities of modern browsers, sites that are important to us can easily get lost among all that clutter. What makes things worse is that all these bookmarks stay tied to one computer and not only that, they risk being completely deleted with just a couple of clicks.
Here is where social bookmarking comes to play. Social bookmarking changes the way we bookmark completely by using websites instead of browsers. There are three main elements that play an important part in defining the social bookmarking experience.
- The implementation of the bookmarking websites into peoples’ browsers: The first step towards a completely integrated social bookmarking experience is to integrate the social bookmarking website of your choice into your browser. To do that, you first need to sign up on any social bookmarking site of your choice. Once that is done, you will be given the option to add a couple of buttons to your browser, including a Tag button. These buttons will be extremely useful later on for bookmarking on the go.
That way, the next time you stumble upon a website you like or you think is valuable, all you need to do is just click on that Tag button and the website will be automatically bookmarked.
- The use of Tags: Every time you choose to bookmark a website, you will be prompted to add a little bit more information about the site, like keywords but, most importantly, tags. By tagging a website, the user takes it to a level classification that is far deeper than a regular bookmark since websites are not all mixed together anymore, but separated by very specific tags that display content according to the way specified by the user.
So for example, a user bookmarks one hundred different vegetarian restaurants’ websites, but tags only three of them as offering organic food. The next time he or she needs to review any of the websites of the restaurants that offer vegetarian organic food, they will not need to browse all one hundred of them, but instead will have to just click on the “Organic” tag displayed on the browser. All of a sudden, bookmarks have become far easier to find.
- Bookmarking made social: Now, imagine people who like the same things you do have also implemented the same social bookmarking buttons you have on their browsers. This will automatically show all of them your bookmarks and the sites you deem valuable so they can access these resources as well. On the same line, you will be able to view all of their bookmarks and benefit from the sites they like.
Now, when it comes to businesses and the importance of social bookmarking to them, then this new method of sharing and its potential as a publicity medium becomes vital. However, there is not much businesses can do except offer excellent online content in order to entice readers to “social bookmark” them.
Nonetheless, what they can do is provide customisable buttons for the most relevant social bookmarking sites on the web so that visitors can bookmark them even if they don’t have the default installed on their browsers. Although unlikely, the social bookmark tool is not present on some web browsers out there, not even on the ones that people are already members of, so making it easy for them to choose your site as a favorite is in your best interest.
To sum up, social bookmarking offers a new way for people to share their favorite websites and resources, while at the same time giving businesses and companies yet another chance to place themselves in front of people’s eyes.