Social bookmarking is the practice of ‘tagging’ a web page with keywords. Instead of actually the address of a website that you wish to visit later on, you are simply inserting a few ‘keywords’ and saving a web page on the browser. Through this tagging, you can now easily and more efficiently share what you like with friends and colleagues, since it is already on the web and not on your personal computer, or any other machine you use! A great thing about social bookmarking is that you do not need to share the entire file or webpage itself; by merely sharing the keywords that ‘reference’ a web page, it can be shared with others!
A great feature about social bookmarking is that instead of first downloading an entire document and then finding out whether it is of your interest or relevance to you or not, you can merely look at or read through the tagged keywords and evaluate the use of a webpage, blog or even a document available online or shared with you. Social bookmarking is particularly useful when a source needs to be shared with many people. Moreover, it has greatly changed the way how to organize information and categorize resources.
The best thing about social bookmarking is that it allows you to save links and information on the internet, thus it can be accessible from any place at any time! So, if there’s an article or news story anywhere over the internet and you want to refer to it again in the future, or share with others, simply click on one of the social bookmarking links and add it to your list.
Some of the best known web 2.0 bookmarking sites include Del.icio.us, Blinklist , Blogmarks , Furl, Kaboodle, ma.gnolia, Simpy, Spur, Stumble Upon, Digs and Wink. When anyone bookmarks a page, they are telling other users that they find the information useful. If two or three additional people bookmark the same page, it might seem useful to even more internet users, and so on. Additionally, there is a ranking system on these sites that moves pages to higher spots in the ranking system, as they become bookmarked by more users. If several hundred or thousands of people bookmark a page, that page is ranked even higher, and it is moved up accordingly, as it is deemed to have extremely useful information on it. It can end up finding itself on the front page of the social bookmarking main page, where millions of users will see it and potentially click on it.
The concept of shared online bookmarks dates back to April 1996 when it was launched. The list of features included public and private bookmarks. Within the next three years, online bookmark services became competitive, with venture-backed companies such as Back flip, Blink, Clip2, Click Marks, Hotlinks, and others entering the market. Founded in 2003, Delicious (then called del.icio.us) pioneered tagging and coined the term social bookmarking.
The basic idea behind social bookmarking is that it helps create a set of resources accessible from any computer. It helps you conduct research and then share it with your peers. It helps students setup a group tag in order to share educational resources while facilitating unintended learning through the discovery of resources and information shared by others through their bookmarks. Moreover, social bookmarking allows you to share links to current news items that relate to classroom discussions.