Larry BraunerI’m writing about social bookmarking sites because of comments on my Facebook page indicating that people could still be unfamiliar with social bookmarking.

Social bookmarking sites are meta resources that help us to catalog and organize the vast amount of resources that can be found on the web from web pages to pictures to videos and more.

Social Bookmarking Sites Defined

My broad definition of social bookmarking sites is this:

Social bookmarking sites are websites that people use to save, categorize, share and search bookmarks, i.e., links and descriptive data, that refer to resources, such as web pages and other types of web media.

It’s important to note that the resources themselves aren’t being shared on social bookmarking sites, but rather bookmarks referring to the resources. Bookmarks themselves are the content on social bookmarking sites.

My definition of social bookmarking sites includes not only sites explicitly created for bookmark sharing, but multipurpose social networking sites, as well.

Reasons for Social Bookmarking Sites

There are a variety reasons for employing social bookmarking sites, such as saving links, sharing links with others, conducting research and generating traffic.

When generating traffic, it’s essential to share one’s own links sparingly, in order to appear neither as a social bookmarking abuser nor as a spammer.

Popular Social Bookmarking Sites

Social Bookmarking SitesI suggest to you a recent list of popular social bookmarking sites to check out. Let me append Facebook and LinkedIn to that list, which already includes Twitter, since Facebook-page and LinkedIn updates are much like Twitter tweets in that you can explain your links, and your bookmarks are indexed by and available through search engines.

Neither Twitter, Facebook nor LinkedIn are pure social bookmarking sites, as they weren’t created explicitly for social bookmarking.

While Twitter does enable some categorization using hashtags, Facebook and LinkedIn do not, which may have been the reason for excluding them from the eBizMBA list of social bookmarking sites cited.

I personally use a number of the social bookmarking sites in the eBizMBA list including Digg, but I especially like StumbleUpon and plan to use it more and more over time.

My favorite social bookmarking sites that don’t yet receive sufficient traffic to qualify for the eBizMBA list are Business Exchange and Amplify.

Exploring Social Bookmarking Sites

Preferences for social bookmarking sites are different for each individual and project. If you’re new to social bookmarking, explore, experiment and discover the social bookmarking sites that fit your objectives and style.

Karin Boode has started a social bookmarking group on the Small Business Networking site to help us learn from and share our findings with each other. You’re invited to join.

Let’s hear about your experiences with social bookmarking and social bookmarking sites.

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28 Responses to “What are Social Bookmarking Sites?”

  1. Dave on September 13th, 2010 12:06 am

    Very interesting. That clears thing’s up a bit. I just now joined a few of those bookmarking sites, because I read about them on another blog: Using social bookmarking to promote your post’s and get backlinks

    So that’s what I have been doing lately..Guess I’d better cool it with my own ramblings. I don’t want to break any rules ya know? I just want a little better page rank out of my 2 personal websites and more traffic. Don’t we all? Hey I earned 46 cent’s this week since I started posting again :)

  2. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 12:16 am

    Good luck Dave.

  3. Karin on September 13th, 2010 12:24 am

    It is always great to find an article on social bookmarking. I would like to respond to your remarks regarding Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even though you can share content on all 3 sites, they are not very user friendly when it comes down to finding the information back at a later date. Sharing is more done to spread the word about high quality content, than it is with the purpose of finding it back later.

    The categorization and storage of valuable content is what characterizes social bookmarking, so I agree that none of the 3 should be classified as such.

    I can also relate to the fact that you are not using Digg overly much, although I suggest that you reconsider. The “new Digg” is giving users the ability to provide RSS feeds of both their own blog and that of others, to keep followers informed on the latest news in their niche. This will result (as the new system matures) in authority pages with highly relevant information on the topic of your choice. If the new Digg takes off, that is. If it does, it will be an extremely powerful way of establishing your authority in your niche. You may be creating a miniature “digg-effect”…

  4. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 12:34 am

    I agree, Karin, about Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, that they aren’t really social bookmarking sites. As I said: “Neither Twitter, Facebook nor LinkedIn are pure social bookmarking sites, as they weren’t created explicitly for social bookmarking.

    “While Twitter does enable some categorization using hashtags, Facebook and LinkedIn do not, which may have been the reason for excluding them from the eBizMBA list of social bookmarking sites cited.”

    I am keeping an open mind about Digg and hope that the new Digg will be one of the focuses of your new social bookmarking group.

  5. Chrystal on September 13th, 2010 1:37 am

    I really love StumbleUpon, too. Digg is good. Thanks for putting a fine point on this subject, Larry. Always great stuff from you. I will share it too on FB.

  6. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 1:45 am

    I hope you know by now, Chrystal, that I genuinely appreciate you and your support.

  7. Cherry Rahtu on September 13th, 2010 3:51 am

    Hi Larry, how do you use social bookmarking sites in your daily life?

  8. Online Business Directory on September 13th, 2010 7:35 am

    Great post, Larry, and kudos for succeeding in giving a lucid explanation of social bookmarking without using the stupid and meaningless phrase “Web 2.0 properties.” I would add that one of the uses of social bookmarking is for SEO. Although it is a low-level link building tactic that is not very powerful in an of itself, it is useful for diversifying your link profile. Of course, not all social bookmarking sites support dofollow links, but those that do can have some SEO value. One of the current SEO obsessions (in some circles where I don’t belong) is building “link wheels” — mini-networks of interlinked sites which include many social bookmarking pages and hubs. These are pretty involved to construct and I am skeptical about the extent of their value.

  9. Neil Ferree on September 13th, 2010 9:46 am

    Good Overview Larry.

    I’ve been using the “Share This” widget for awhile now on my Blog and when I click the ALL sites button, it shows me a boatload of SMM sites, many of which you detailed above.

    I make sure to include a relevant image in the 1st paragraph of the article post, so that when I “push” the article URL to these SMM sites, the reader might connect the dots on the visual queue and the headline.

    Paying attention to the basic rules of good On-Page Optimization and the 2 above actions seem to work out well with the search engines.

  10. Stephen Robinson - The Social Web Analyst on September 13th, 2010 10:42 am

    Nice article, Larry,

    But let’s not forget about Delicious. Owned by Yahoo! and very well-to-do. With tagging, categories, bundles, and numerous other features that make Delicious a convenient and organized places to submit and share your social bookmarks. :)

    The domain name used to be http://del.icio.us but when Yahoo! bought it out, they also bought www.Delicious.com and added it as a redirect.

  11. Dawn on September 13th, 2010 2:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing about social bookmarking. It can be a great SEO tool for businesses, and yet most people really don’t understand what social bookmarking is or how it works.

    I will have to check out the new group for sure.

  12. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 2:36 pm

    @Cherry I’m assuming you mean my daily life online. :)

    I bookmark everything worthwhile I come across in my niche and everything that knocks my socks off outside my niche. I also bookmark everything that’s interesting on my Small Business Networking site.

    For each piece of content, I decide where I want to bookmark and share it.

    @Online Business Directory - For me, SEO is part of traffic generation. I’d like to point out that Amplify and Posterous are both sources of dofollow inbound links.

    As far as gray and black hat tactics, I do my best to stay away from them.

    @Neil @Dawn Thank you for your input.

    @Stephen I only omitted Delicious, because it was on the list I cited. I do use it, as well, but am not excited about it.

  13. Tanisha on September 13th, 2010 4:24 pm

    This is what I needed. Thanks.

  14. Cherry Rahtu on September 13th, 2010 9:31 pm

    Hi Larry, thank you for your reply.You are truly genuine and generous person.

  15. Larry Brauner on September 13th, 2010 9:57 pm

    For me social media has been a learning and growing process. Thank you Cherry for your kind words.

  16. Steve on September 16th, 2010 4:48 pm

    Larry, how do you decide which on which bookmarking site to share which content? Also, do you know much about Reddit or Diggio? I have bookmarked there, but I am not sure of the value. In terms of keeping up with everything, I mainly use Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

  17. Larry Brauner on September 17th, 2010 11:19 am

    Steve, there’s no formula, but let me give you a couple of social bookmarking examples.

    I bookmark many types of content. If they have nothing to do with business, I won’t bookmark them at Business Exchange or share them on LinkedIn.

    I also bookmark my own content but rarely on StumbleUpon, since self-bookmarking on StumbleUpon isn’t as good as someone else bookmarking it.

    Social bookmarking like most social media is pretty much a common sense thing.

  18. TR Hughes on September 17th, 2010 12:08 pm

    Wow. Thanks so much for the overview. I’m not that savvy in this area and I have found your article very helpful.

  19. Glenny on September 18th, 2010 2:52 pm

    If you were only allowed to promote on only one of the social bookmarking sites, which would it be and why? Maybe you could write a blog post on that. :)

    The reason I ask is simple: There are simply too many and there are not enough hours in the day to attend to them all. I would much rather just focus on 2 or 3 instead of trying to please them all.

    Presently, I use twitter for my blog, StumbleUpon (which I’ve always used) and Digg (which I find quite difficult to understand in all honesty). What do you think of my 3? :)

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to your answer!

    Glenny

  20. Larry Brauner on September 18th, 2010 11:30 pm

    You must have been reading my mind Glenny. I am planning to write about my favorite social bookmarking sites.

    As far as your bookmarking sites are concerned, my opinion doesn’t matter very much. What does matter are the results you’re obtaining using them.

    You should consider experimenting for yourself with a variety of social bookmarking sites to find what works best for you.

  21. Glenny on September 19th, 2010 7:36 am

    Well in that case, I’m eagerly looking forward to your next post. (Will have to subscribe!)

    Thanks, Glenny

  22. wonder on September 25th, 2010 7:05 am

    people use to save, categorize, share and search bookmarks, i.e., links and descriptive

  23. warrichpk on September 27th, 2010 4:13 am

    Nice list, just check this new dofollow social bookmarking list: http://socialbookmarkinglist.info.

    Your site here definitely will get good Dofollow backlinks.

  24. Frieke Karlovits on October 5th, 2010 3:31 am

    Very neat summary and explanation of the social bookmarking scene - this article can be recommended to the “searchers.”

    Thanks for sharing.

    Frieke Karlovits

  25. akshat on October 5th, 2010 5:09 am

    Just like to add another good dofollow social bookmarking site: Humans Think

    Nice design and easy to use.

  26. muhammad munir on October 13th, 2010 11:49 am
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