For the last year or so, I’d see words like Delicious, Digg, and Reddit and I wondered what these products were all about, and why people were raving about using them. Truthfully, I stayed away from investigating further because I firmly believed I would only waste my time trying to keep up with yet another social media site. Boy was I wrong in my thinking. I’ve been social bookmarking for a little while now and I must say, “I get it.”
In case you’re new to social bookmarking, let me first start by explaining what it is. Raise your hand if you have ever found a website, blog post, or article that you thought a friend or family member would find useful, so you sent them the link. If you have done this, effectively you were social bookmarking. The concept is really the same.
Most of us are used to using our browser’s toolbar to add links to our favorite websites. With social bookmarking, you are doing the same thing, only instead of adding the link to your browser, where only you or those with access to your computer, can view the link, you are simply saving the bookmark online. The cool thing about bookmarking online is that you can share your bookmarks with whomever you wish. By tagging the bookmark, you create categories that make the link easy to catalog for sharing and future reference.
For example, as many of you may know I’m a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). One of the many benefits of being a part of this organization is the volume of helpful information that writers freely share with each other. For a long time, all I could do was save the emails with information that I thought I would need at a later date. While this method works, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with keeping messages, I found it very time consuming and tedious to sift through messages in order to find the information I needed, when I needed it.
Now when a fellow writer sends an email saying something like, “I’ve found this great site with tons of writing contest information,” I can bookmark the site and use tags to easily categorize the content.
Still not convinced? Click here to take a look at my Delicious bookmarks. If you’re a writer or into social media, I bet you’ll find something of interest. Consider this…if you found something useful among my bookmarks, think how many you could find if browsing all the Delicious bookmarks and flipping through them based on your interest, what’s popular, trends etc. If you’re anything like me, the fear is that you’ll spend hours reading when you should be working.
One final note, you may be wondering how social bookmarking differs from using search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find information. The key is that browsing through social bookmarks using tags, and or, advanced search features allows you to find specific information without the fuss of looking at tons of stuff you don’t need. Just imagine how much time and effort you save by using a filtered source that is bubbling over with information waiting to be discovered.
Have you tried social bookmarking? What is your take on the whole bookmarking concept?