pp. Saving and applying keywords to one's personal collection of website bookmarks on a site that enables other people to share those bookmarks.
So what's so radical about social bookmarking? How is it more exciting than Google? Well, on a purely practical level, it's a godsend to anybody who uses more than a single computer: now, your bookmarks can be accessed anywhere. But more interesting is the kind of information it enables us to retrieve from the internet. The Google robot might seem ingenious, but it stumbles through the supermarkets and slums of the web without distinguishing them from the libraries and museums. Compared with real internet users, choosing and saving the most interesting websites, it's very dumb. Social bookmarking separates the information from the trash, and turns searching into an art form.
This paper reviews some current initiatives, as of early 2005, in providing public link management applications on the Web — utilities that are often referred to under the general moniker of 'social bookmarking tools'. There are a couple of things going on here: 1) server-side software aimed specifically at managing links with, crucially, a strong, social networking flavour, and 2) an unabashedly open and unstructured approach to tagging, or user classification, of those links.
In last week’s column, I mentioned del.icio.us, Joshua Schachter’s "social bookmarking" service.