Social Bookmarking dates back just a couple of years, when sites like Furl, Simpy, and del.icio.us began operating. Other social bookmarking sites include de.lirio.us, an open source version of del.icio.us, and citeulike, a social bookmarking site for academic papers. Social bookmarking is particularly useful when collecting a set of resources that are to be shared with others. Anyone can participate in social bookmarking.
Social Bookmarking opens the door to new ways of organizing information and categorizing resources. The creator of a bookmark assigns tags to each resource, resulting in a user-directed, “amateur” method of classifying information. Because social bookmarking services indicate who created each bookmark and provide access to that person’s other bookmarked resources, users can easily make social connections with other individuals interested in just about any topic. Users can also see how many people have used a tag and search for all resources that have been assigned that tag. In this way, the community of users over time will develop a unique structure of keywords to define resources—something that has come to be known as a “folksonomy.”
Activities like social bookmarking give users the opportunity to express differing perspectives on information and resources through informal organizational structures. This process allows like-minded individuals to find one another and create new communities of users that continue to influence the ongoing evolution of folksonomies and common tags for resources. Using a folksonomy-based tool for research lets you take advantage of the insights of other users to find information related to the topic you are researching, even in areas that aren’t obviously connected to the primary topic. If you are looking for information about sailing, for example, you might find that other users saw a connection between sailing and boat repair, taking you in new, potentially valuable directions. These kinds of tools also encourage users to keep coming back because the folksonomy and the collections of resources are constantly changing. It’s easy to imagine assigning a value for individual resources, resulting in a ranking system that functions as a collaborative filter.
I definitely recommend starting with these sites, and here are 800 More Social Bookmarking Sites for you!
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