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Sites like Del.icio.us and Stumbleupon are the frontrunners of the social bookmarking concept and have become very popular among Internet users. They offer very convenient ways to save and share bookmarks on the Internet. Internet users are able to access their personal bookmarks from any computer. Social bookmarking sites also allow users to organize very large numbers bookmarks and share them with other people. And as users bookmarks useful sites, the same site may be bookmarked by many users depending upon its popularity, this would also let new users check out the most popular sites based upon popularity. In effect sites could be ranked with the help of social bookmarking.

Though it is only in the recent few years that social bookmarking has gained popularity, the concept itself is not new. It has been there since 1996, and that’s a pretty long period, considering the speed at which the Internet is evolving. Social bookmarking came into being with the launch of itList in April 1996. It allowed users to have private as well as public bookmarks. With itList paving the way the next three years saw the launch of a number of other online bookmarking services like Blink, Backflip, ClickMarks, Clip2, and Hotlinks among many others. They added more features like the provision of folders for managing bookmarks. Some services and software also featured automatic sorting of bookmarks into appropriate folders. Blink featured browser buttons to save bookmarks, while Backflip allowed the users to sent their bookmarks through email.

Though the services and software were innovative and helpful, they lacked a viable model for generating revenues. This led to the closing down of most of these pioneers of social bookmarking tools when the dot-com bubble burst. The founder of Blink observed that he did not think that the reason for their failure was that they were ahead of times. The actual reasons probably had to do with product design and approach.

The term social bookmarking was coined when del.icio.us was established in 2003. It did not take long for del.icio.us to become popular. Within a year it was being used widely. Following del.icio.us a number of similar services were launched. They came with variations on the basic concept of social bookmarking. There were Connotea and Citeulike which were also referred to as social citation services, Stumbleupon which is a recommendation system along with Furl and Simpy.

Social bookmarking has become so important that IBM Lotus Connections launched its own service in 2007. It was called Dogear and meant for businesses. Further evolution of the concept led to the formation of sites like Digg, Newsvine and Reddit which offered services that where similar to social bookmarking but were used for managing ‘social news’.

However there are downsides to social bookmarking services, which have been aggravated due to their popularity. For example, tagging suffers, due to the absence of a well defined and standard key word vocabulary, since the tags are provided by users they often contain spelling errors many times tags may not be clear in their meaning.

On the positive side there is much traffic to be gathered from social bookmarking through tools and software such as LetsGetSocialNow.com. If you use wordpress social bookmarks simply use our script to add social bookmarking buttons to your Wordpress blog!

 

 

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