What Is Social Bookmarking? (With Definition and Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 29, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Reviewing information from multiple resources can help you understand topics better and improve your expertise. While you can keep bookmarks of these resources on your browser, saving them to a website through social bookmarks can be more beneficial. Learning the definition, uses, and benefits of it can help you better organize and access online resources. In this article, we answer the question, "What is social bookmarking?" explain how it works, discuss why you might consider using it, cover its benefits, outline helpful tips, and answer frequently asked questions.

What is social bookmarking?

Knowing the answer to "What is social bookmarking?" can reveal whether it can help you work more efficiently. This is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public website and tagging them with relevant keywords. These websites typically have browser plug-ins to keep bookmarks leading to text files. A social bookmark is a tag linking to an online resource.

How does it work?

Social bookmarking works by offering an improved way to manage information and categorize online resources. After creating an account on a bookmarking platform, you can curate bookmarks with descriptions to help you retrieve them easily. Many bookmarking platforms have sorting systems and may enable you to create public or private bookmarks. For example, you can make bookmarks public if you want other users to help evaluate the linked website's credibility.

These websites typically have comment sections where you can discuss bookmarked content with other uses. Doing this can provide more insights into the content's relevance. With the social features of these platforms, you can build or join communities or identify new content based on your previous bookmarking activities. Bookmarking websites can also enable you to perform smart searches to obtain results sorted by popularity or publication. You may also follow content or discussion topics organized in rooms or threads.

Why consider using it?

You can use this type of bookmarking in the following contexts:

Education

It can be beneficial for conducting professional studies and research projects. For example, a professor might use this practice to gather resources for technical report writing. Through social bookmarks, educators can also share bookmarks with students and collaborate on group tasks with their colleagues. For example, distributing reference lists, bibliographies, and research papers might be easier using social bookmark websites than sending emails.

This type of bookmarking can facilitate identifying quality websites for curriculum development. Librarians can also find it useful for maintaining library resources and engaging members. For example, a librarian may share bookmarks of free books to attract more readers to a library.

Work

Many professionals use social bookmarks for marketing and advertising. For example, a content creator can collect, store, and organize resources for future reference. Social bookmark platforms can also provide useful insights for market research. For example, marketers may curate bookmarked links that companies can use to predict trends and identify new markets. Similarly, marketers and sales representatives may use social bookmark platforms to observe feedback from customers and users regarding products, services, or website content.

Related: How to Do Market Research With 6 Guided Steps (With Types)

Personal purposes

Social bookmark websites typically enable you to connect with other users and build your network. You can save bookmarks containing information about products and services that interest you. For example, suppose you're moving into a new home and looking to renovate. You may use a social bookmark platform to get helpful ideas. Networking with users who have similar search histories can also help you share opportunities and build your reputation as a thought leader.

Benefits of social bookmarking

Here are the potential benefits of a social bookmark to your work or personal life:

Offers access to bookmarks from multiple devices

Social bookmarking platforms can integrate with other websites and save information on a page. This can enable access to bookmarked content using a desktop or mobile device with internet connections. Having relevant sources in a central location can help you search for references and information to improve your workflow. This can also help change your focus from remembering where you stored information to learning to retrieve it using a framework created by peers and colleagues.

Generates website traffic

A social bookmark can create backlinks, which refer to links from one website to another. For example, suppose you have a website, and a user saved it on their account on a social bookmarking platform. Their followers may click on your website's bookmark, which can increase its traffic and rank on search engine result pages.

Enables quick information sourcing

Methods like bookmarking can offer you the opportunity to achieve a greater sense of community. You can benefit from other users' insights to find information on a topic that interests you. For example, suppose you want to learn more about an economic concept. By searching for relevant keywords, you may find public bookmarks created by other users.

Tips for social bookmarks

Here are helpful uses of bookmarking in professional or personal settings:

Create structures for organizing and tagging resources

Because bookmarking platforms are public websites, anyone with an account can typically bookmark websites and include tags. It's essential that you use accurate tags and maintain consistency. For example, suppose you save a bookmark for a site containing information about greyhounds. Aside from the tag greyhound, it can also help to include dogs and dog racing tags for users looking for information on dog breeds.

Related: 12 Examples of Organization in the Workplace (With Tips)

Maintain objectivity

Because bookmarking typically reflects a community's values, presenting an objective view of websites and topics is essential. For example, suppose you support capitalism over socialism. If you save bookmarks for socialism, consider using keywords that may not reveal your preferred economic system. Doing this can help you maintain a neutral view and enable other users to make decisions independently.

Manage your account

Like other applications, it's essential you maintain your account on bookmarking platforms. Consider changing your password regularly to ensure only authorized personnel can access it. You can also consider a password manager. Reviewing the platform's terms and conditions can also help you use it appropriately.

Related: Basic Computer Skills (Plus Ways to Highlight Them)

Engage with other users

While you can access bookmarks by others, it's also crucial you share bookmarked content. This way, users can see you as a valuable community member. An interesting profile can also help attract followers and encourage insightful conversations. Engaging with others can help improve your social following, which can qualify you for many opportunities, such as influencer marking roles.

Related: Why Is Networking Important? (With Benefits and Tips)

FAQs about social bookmarks

Here are helpful answers to questions about social bookmarks and its uses:

Is social tagging the same as social bookmarks?

Social tagging and bookmarking are related concepts. Social tagging is a way of categorizing and sharing web content using tags. It's also an essential feature of social bookmark systems.

How do you choose a bookmarking platform?

Here are factors to consider when selecting a bookmarking system:

  • Ease of use: You can consider bookmarking systems with user-friendly interfaces, which are typically easier to navigate.

  • Integration: Many bookmarking systems work with citation management software and social networking websites. You can consider whether these options can improve your productivity.

  • Functions: Bookmarking systems can perform social tagging and summarization or offer unique features for your educational, professional, or personal use.

  • Cost: While many systems are free, others may require a monthly fee. Evaluating the features of premium versions can help you decide whether to pay for social bookmarks.

  • Device compatibility: You can consider whether bookmarking systems have mobile applications to improve accessibility.

What is social summarization?

Social summarization is a method of producing webpage summaries by combining multiple resources. These summaries are social because they're typically from community users. For example, suppose you want to research a subject. You may find a summary explaining previous projects and more recent techniques. Many bookmarking websites also include social summarization as a feature.

What are the prospects of bookmarking?

The technology facilitating bookmarking is popular, which can encourage more companies considering such services to enter the market. As the technology community develops, many companies now include bookmarking ideas in other applications. For example, select software providers extend the practice of social tagging to multimedia files and emails. The design and function of databases may also change to accommodate new ways of managing information offered through bookmarks.

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