Tag Archives: social bookmarking

Making Sense of Social Bookmarking Sites

The biggest Social Bookmarking sites are Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Del.icio.us. I use the term a little loosely, as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon are generally referred to as “Social Media” sites, as they’re less about storing things for later reference, but about finding things. If I’m collectively talking about the four sites, though, I use the term Social Bookmarking. After all, you still are bookmarking with the sites, even if that’s not the main focus.

The Social Bookmarking sites are all a bit different, and they all have their own uses.

Digg/Reddit: Digg and Reddit are mainly for finding “news” (which is a broad term on the two sites). Using the sites, you can find things that a large group of people think are interesting/useful/relevant/etc. Looking for the hottest tech news? Head to Digg.

StumbleUpon: SU is channel-surfing for the web. Just click the “Stumble” button on the SU toolbar and you’re taken to a semi-random page in your selection of interests. Do you like the page? Click the “Thumbs-Up” button. Your vote affects how often the page will come-up when other people click their Stumble buttons. It’s fun, and addictive.

Del.icio.us: Wouldn’t it be great if you could access your bookmarks from any computer? Wouldn’t it be useful to see what other users (people you know, people with similar interests) have bookmarked? That’s the idea behind Del.icio.us. You import your bookmarks from your browser (most major ones supported), and then you start bookmarking things with the Del.icio.us instead of your “normal” bookmarks system. If you don’t get why you’d want this, watch this short video.

All of the aforementioned sites are useful, and you should check them out if you haven’t already. In the blogging world, they are useful for finding things to write about, and for promoting things you wrote. Don’t blog in a vacuum.

How Do You Use Social Bookmarking Sites?

How do you use voting-based social bookmarking sites (like Digg, Reddit, Design Float)? Do you just subscribe to RSS feeds, and see what others like? Do you just vote occasionally?

I’ve been wondering about this lately, as well as complaining about the way that Digg is mainly about who you know. Complaints aside, Digg (and other social bookmarking sites) are a great way to find interesting things online (and have your posts be found as well).

Vote in the poll below, or feel free to leave a more detailed response in the comments.

Update: By “social bookmarking sites,” I am referring to sites like Digg and Reddit. Maybe “social news sites” would be a better term. Del.icio.us, a service that focuses on actually bookmarking things, doesn’t really fit-in with the poll.

By the way, I mainly “lurk.” I subscribe to the sites’ RSS feeds and read entries. If I really like something, I may login and vote, but not always. I tend to not do much submitting, since the first thing I think to do (when I find something interesting online) is to link to it. :D

On Social Bookmarking Icons…

You’ve seen them. “Digg this post!”, “Save to Del.icio.us!”, “Add to Technorati Favorites”. The question is: What’s the best way to utilize them on your blog?

On some blogs, you’ll see a strip of icons like this:

On others (like this one), we use a WordPress plugin called Share This. The plugin reduces icon clutter by stashing all of the social bookmarking links into a hidden <div>. When you click the Share This button, a dropdown menu opens with all of the links. It looks sort of like this:

I’ve been using Share This for awhile now, so I don’t have an overload of those pesky icons, but here’s my question: Is it better to use Share This, or just pick 5-6 social bookmarking icons to include? Share This makes things easier for you to save the current page to all of the major sites, or even through email. The only problem is, it’s less noticeable than having a row of icons. So, which do you think is better? Tell us why in the comments.