My Bookmarking Woes!
Bookmarking websites has been a practice as old as browsers themselves. It’s a great way to remember those interesting, useful or fun websites that you frequent. Being online at work and at home, I never know when I am going to come across a website that I want to bookmark for future reference.
One of the major downfalls of a web browser’s bookmarking capabilities is that the bookmark itself is stored on your computer. If I bookmark a website at work, that same bookmark will not be available on my home computer until I bookmark it again.
A Bookmarking Breakthrough!
A few years ago I came across Google Toolbar. This web browser plug-in from Google would allow you to manage your bookmarks from any browser on any machine. This meant that I could bookmark a website using the Google Toolbar at work, and if I had the Google Toolbar installed in my browser at home, I could access the same list of bookmarks. No longer did I have to manage two sets of bookmarks – what a breakthrough! All you needed was a Google account and the Google Toolbar installed.
Over the past year or so, I’ve heard talk about Social Bookmarking. I ignored the talk and kept working with Google Bookmarks. Finally, a few months ago, I broke down and looked into Delicious. At first I must admit, I wasn’t overly impressed with Delicious. I thought it was another bookmarking website that provided a method of having bookmarks accessible on any computer. I was wrong! It involves changing the way one thinks from traditional bookmarking schemes using folders to organize to using tagging as a way to organize.
One of the greatest benefits I see that will come from using tagging in bookmarking is the freedom it provides in organizing bookmarks. For example, I may come across a website that had a great tutorial on how to create a cool web graphic. Instead of being limited and putting the bookmark in a folder called ‘Tutorials’, I could tag the website with ‘graphic tutorial web’. I could do a search on any of those tags and the website tutorial would be returned.
I realize that Google Bookmarks does now have similar functionality, but instead uses the term labels instead of tags. The two features that I think separate Delicious and other social bookmarking websites from Google Bookmarks is the ability to share out your bookmarks, if desired and to in turn view bookmarks from others in your network.
I am still in the infant stages of understanding social bookmarking, but I think it will provide some great opportunities and improve my collaboration efforts. I encourage others to investigate and take the leap to social bookmarking or at least move your bookmarks online to Google Bookmarks or a similar online bookmarking service.