Getting Social with Bookmarking and Tags

What does Social Bookmarking do? Simply put, it's a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet. Okay, so, why should you use a social bookmarking site (like, for example) when you can save your Bookmarks (or Favourites) in your browser? Well:

  • it's computer-independent, so whether your're at work or at home or in another country, you've always got access to your bookmarks
  • you don't have to think about a hierarchical ordering system, rather you can just tag your bookmarks
  • you can collaborate with others to create a shared resource - always much more powerful than what we can do alone
  • you can search for other people's bookmarked resources

In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, but can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The allowed people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine. This is instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders.

Additionally, you may - or may not! - have come across the word folksonomy and wondered what it means. It comes from the word taxonomy, which is the practice and science of classification - something Universities are very familiar with. Folksonomy is taxonomy in the hands of the masses. It's what happens when a user makes up his or her own words, or tags, to classify things like bookmarks on or blog posts.

More on Social Bookmarking here and on Tagging here. More on here as well as a very good tutorial.

And if you want to know if is really any good, and what you might use it for, get some ideas from what people say about it here, where it's been voted as the number one in the top 100 tools for online learning for 2008.