Social Bookmarking, Tags and Folksonomies: An introduction

‘Social bookmarking’ is the name given to the family of technologies which began to appear a couple of years back to allow you to share your favourite internet sites with others and to ‘tag’ them with sets of keywords known as a ‘folksonomies’.

The precursor of social bookmarking was plain old ‘Internet Favourites/Bookmarks’ which allowed you to store lists of URLs to be retrieved later.

However there were many limitations in traditional bookmarks/favourites including :

  • they were tied to a specific computer

  • they could not easily be shared with others for mutual benefit

  • they ended up as huge lists which were difficult to navigate

  • their classification was hierarchical and 1-dimensional

With social bookmarking you can also build up a community around a unique group of Tags known collectively as a ‘folksonomy’.

Social bookmarking makes it less important to know where the information is stored as long as you know how to retrieve it.

For more on social bookmarking check out:

7 Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking
Social Bookmarking - Getting your Blog Noticed
Social Bookmarking Tools - A General Review

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It's also worth pointing out that some social sites (upcoming.org, match.com, and rogueconnect.com) use tagging internally. That is, members can't tag external content but only content found on the respective domains. On match, members can tag themselves with terms. On upcoming, it's events that can be tagged, on Rogue Connect it's blog entries and profiles. It's a narrower form of social networking in some senses.

I love how social bookmarking sites work it makes it easy to find what you need from a site. The tags people post makes for a easy web surfing experierence.

 


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