Last week Tia Petersen wrote a really good post here at TechnShare titled ‘8 Useful tips for putting your blog on auto-pilot’ and in it she talked briefly about social bookmarking. I read a lot about social bookmarking, hell I even write about it from time to time, but something that is nigh explained is the fundamentals of, well everything really – but more specific to this post, the fundamentals of Social Bookmarking.
I think understanding how something works is an integral cog in the wheels that drive you to success – and you cannot even think to have a modicum of it if you honestly don’t understand the processes behind whatever it is you are doing. So with this in mind, let’s look at Social Bookmarking from a bare knuckled, blogging point of view and discuss what it is exactly, and why it is that bloggers especially like talking about it so much.
Wikipedia defines social bookmarking as a method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren’t shared, merely bookmarks that reference them.
OK so this is a very broad and ambiguous way to phrase it and is probably the reason why there are so many variations on the actual definition of social bookmarking. This matter is only made more confusing by the fact that half the time is it is referred to as social bookmarketing, although I’m still not sure if this is a typo, a play on words, or just a literal translation for the way we use social media to try and ‘sell ourselves’. Because the actual definition of social bookmarking, as explained above is entirely useless until it can be put into context and made relevant to whatever online business model you have adopted! So let’s make this relevant to the blogger…
What exactly IS Social Bookmarking?
Social bookmarking is a way to leverage your content.
If you are a blogger then the first priority you must have is in content creation, and the ensuing leverage of said content. Yeah traffic is important – blah blah blah. But how do you think you start the whole process. Social bookmarking is a lot of things to the blogger and I will delve deeper shortly, but know that ultimately the reason social bookmarking is so powerful is because of the ability to leverage (that’s share in new age talk) your content. Everything else that social bookmarking can do is simply a flow down effect from the content being there in the first place.
Backlinks and Backchat
When you ‘bookmark’ your best content two things happen straight away. First you now have your post on another site, resulting in the likelihood of more visibility, and secondly (and more importantly to me) you gain a keyword relevant backlink from an authority site. As a niche site marketer THIS is where the money is. It’s social bookmarking that leverages the power of AUTHORITY BACKLINKS not social commentary and what not, but that’s another post for another day, for now just know that as a blogger, acquiring consistent quality backlinks with keyword relevant anchor text is what will take your blog from PR0 to PR1 and so on.
But niche site marketing aside, there are real people in the social sphere too, and they all love to share, and it’s all so cool to hang out and chat with their friends about what not and who’s his face… and this one time, at bandcamp.
You get the point, Social media is massive – and it is the social bookmarking – or ability to share content aspect of social media that has seen it grow so steadily, so quickly – so as a blogger we DEFINITELY want a piece of that pie. I don’t need to explain this in detail because you already know all of this, but needless to say, the fact that social media allows OTHER PEOPLE to share YOUR content too means ‘perpetuating your brand online’ just got a whole lot easier.
Social Bookmarking sites
OK I hope I have helped explain the basic fundamentals of social bookmarking as they pertain to a blogger, but no ‘fundamentals’ post would be complete without a list of where to go next…
Here are the top twenty social bookmarking sites, as determined by traffic and rank. These sites combine to receive over 60 million visitors each and every month, so the more sites you can utilise to leverage your next post the better. Each site is hyperlinked so that you can search and discover from the comfort of the TechnShare lounge room.
- Twitter, Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.
- Digg, Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web.
- Y!buzz, The best of the web — chosen by you — from breaking stories on major news to viral videos on personal blogs.
- TweetMeMe, TweetMeme is a service which aggregates all the popular links on Twitter to determine which links are popular.
- StumbleUpon, StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences.
- Reddit, reddit is a source for what’s new and popular online. vote on links that you like or dislike and help decide what’s popular, or submit your own!
- Technorati, Technorati was founded to help bloggers succeed by collecting, highlighting, and distributing the global online conversation.
- Del.icio.us, The freshest bookmarks that are flying like hotcakes on Delicious and beyond.
- Kaboodle, Share recommendations and discover new things from our shopping community
- Mixx, Mixx is your link to the web content that really matters.
- Propeller, Propeller is a social news portal, meaning that it is programmed by users. Look it up. I bet we have it!
- Newsvine, Updated continuously by citizens like you, Newsvine is an instant reflection of what the world is talking about at any given moment.
- Fark, Fark.com is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site. Every day Fark receives 2,000 or so news submissions from its readership.
- Slashdot, News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters.
- Twine, Twine is a new way for you to collect online content – videos, photos, articles, Web pages, so you can have it in one place and share it with anyone.
- ClipMarks, On Clipmarks.com, you can see clips of text, images or video about all sorts of topics that other people find while surfing the web.
- Dzone, DZone is a free link-sharing community for developers.
- Faves, Faves.com’s free website delivers recommendations personalized to each user’s topics and people of interest.
- Blinklist, Easily view your links from any computer and save a copy offline.
- Diigo, Diigo is a research and collaborative research tool, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site.
You may have noticed that Facebook and MySpace are vacant from this list. This is because these social platforms are not social bookmarking sites as such. MySpace is useless (bring it on Myspace lovers) but Facebook is bigger than a lot of countries and as a result has spread it’s influence to the point where sharing your content there is a must by default. I’m not here to argue whether or not it’s effective, I just look at the numbers, and Facebook’s 500 million visitors a month can’t be ignored. (seriously though – 500 million a month!?! …I know you’re thinking about it too – and yes it would be nice wouldn’t it!)
Really love the TechnShare community to get involved in this one.
Share YOUR social bookmarking stories with us. What sites do you use and recommend?
Check out Alex’s latest post over at the Keyword Research & Niche Marketing Blog where he reveals an awesome new tool to automate this whole process FREE !