What is social bookmarking? Why would I access a social bookmarking site? How do I access it? How can social bookmarking help me with my learning and teaching? These were questions that I pondered as I began my exploration of the Web 2.0 tool of social bookmarking.
First I went to Wikipedia (I have never used it and was curious as to how they would explain social bookmarking and how accurate it was), the free encyclopedia to get an explanation of what social bookmarking is and found that; ‘social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, and 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. Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks. Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.’ In summary, social bookmarking is a tool used to manage and share information on the web.I decided to continue my research to varify what Wikipedia had stated.
I then accessed ‘Social Bookmarking in Plain English’ on YouTube. This provided a brief overview of social bookmarking and helped to make sense of how it works. The video clip was fun to watch, well organized and gave an effective explanation of social bookmarking.I now knew the necessary steps to take sign up for my own account and how to effectively use a social bookmarking site. This will be discussed later in my blog.
According to Social Bookmarking 101 – What is Social Bookmarking and How Can it Help Me? (http://webtrends.about.com/od/socialbookmarking101/p/aboutsocialtags.htm) if you have ever e-mailed a friend or family member and sent them a link to a website that they might find interesting, you are participating in social bookmarking. It is comparable to taking a book mark in your Favourites and sending it out to the web. This article goes on to say that not only can you save your favourite websites and send them to your friends and colleagues, you can also look at what other people have found and tagged because they felt they would be of interest to others. Social bookmarking allows you to target the internet for only what you are interested in seeing, as it narrows down specific items for you. Social bookmarking enables you to stay current and only view relevant information. With social bookmarking you do not need to type in a subject to a search engine and then flip through copious results. Instead, you go to a social bookmarking site, choose a category or a tag and then you will be able to find the most popular websites. You can take this a step further with social bookmarking and add bookmarks, saved by others, to your own collection as well as subscribe to the list of others. Now I clearly understood the simplicity and implications of social bookmarking. The mystic of social bookmarking has disappated!