Social Bookmarking Explained

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This article is going to introduce you to social bookmarking which is going to be one of the ways that you truly start increasing traffic to your website.  You’ll find a ton of introductory information as well as some intermediate discussion in this article and at my blog about Web 2.0. 

Social bookmarking is based on the concept of sharing information on the web, and has evolved rapidly with the growth of the internet communities and interactive sites.  As more people turn to websites to learn, research, and even read the latest news, the ability to track and monitor this behavior is becoming even easier.

Collective intelligence is leading the wave of sharing information based on specific keywords and subjects, and can help marketers and business owners in many ways.  Today’s social networking sites are incorporating many social bookmarking elements into the platform.  This allows users to learn even more about each other, and is engaging people online by building communities, opening up new networking channels, and giving marketers and business owners a chance to track behavior.

The Wikipedia definition for social bookmarking states: “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.”

Social bookmarking sites are designed differently, but each ultimately allows a user to create a profile, update their preferences, and share this information with friends and family.  Since they are creating this growing network of information, a pattern of tastes and preferences is established-and made publicly available.

The profile that is created becomes the key element of interest to marketers; it’s created with basic registration and in most cases, an e-mail address and login name that will finalizes the the registration and allow access to the social bookmaking platform.  The visitor can then begin publishing their activity to share with fellow social bookmarkers, and this creates a network of categories.

Discovering and sharing information with keywords in specific topic is what allows social bookmarking networks to grow; as more information is provided, the categories of interest also develop to provide key information.

Digg.com is a perfect example of social bookmarking that is growing rapidly.  Users can rate and comment on articles, video content, and podcasts on thousands of topics; the more popular items are posted on the Digg.com front page, while others are rated and logged for the community to review. 

While Digg.com is primarily a news site, it is just one example of a valuable social bookmarking network that has developed into a proliferating online community. Any articles or information that is posted on Digg.com has the potential of being viewed by millions of visitors.  Getting to the Digg.com front page ensures thousands of page views, all at a very low initial cost.  Of course, the information that reaches this level must be valuable to Digg.com readers; since the votes are all user-generated, it allows anyone submitting information to learn about their audience from the ground up. 

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