Definition

social bookmarking

Part of the Internet applications glossary:

Social bookmarking is a user-defined taxonomy system for bookmark s. Such a taxonomy is sometimes called a folksonomy and the bookmarks are referred to as tags. Unlike storing bookmarks in a folder on your computer, tagged pages are stored on the Web and can be accessed from any computer. Technorati, a blogging site, describes the system as "The real-time Web, organized by you." Web sites dedicated to social bookmarking, such as Flickr and del.icio.us, provide users with a place to store, categorize, annotate and share favorite Web pages and files.

Here's how you might use del.icio.us: Once you've registered, you can install buttons to your toolbar . If you visit a Web page that you want to save, you click a "tag" button. A window pops up with the URL and page name and optional fields for you to add notes and tags. Tags are single-word descriptors -- this is how social bookmark systems categorize content so that you and other users can find it.

Another button takes you directly to a page with your saved bookmarks and associated tags. If you click on one of the tags you created, you'll be taken to a page listing your saved pages associated with that tag. You can also view all users' content associated with that tag or the most popular examples. The site inbox feature lets you subscribe to content saved with a specific tag or content saved by a specific user or a combination of the two.

When you click a tag or search for a term on del.icio.us, the results include information about how many members have saved each item and any tags that they included for it.

Joshua Schachter started del.icio.us in 2003 as a way to track and share bookmarks. As the service grew and demanded more of his time, Schachter quit his job at Morgan Stanley to devote himself to the site, which now serves hundreds of thousands of members. In December of 2005, he sold the site to Yahoo.

This was last updated in June 2006
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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