Social Bookmarking

What is social bookmarking?

“Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata.” ( Wikipedia) Instead of storing bookmarks or favorites on your local computer, social bookmarking tools enable you to store them on the web, organize them in a variety of ways, add “tags” or keywords to them, annotate them, and access them from any computer. In addition, you can share the bookmarks with others and you can see what others have bookmarked. (You also have the ability to mark some or all of the bookmarks “private” so that only you can access them.

What is a tag?

tag is a user-assigned keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information.” ( Wikipedia) Unlike Sears or LC subject headings, there is no pre-defined list of acceptable terms. Tags allow users to define what a site or article means to them, assign it to a particular teacher or subject, and provide multiple access points. Users can add as many or as few tags as they feel appropriate to describe the article or website.

Folksonomy (also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging) is the practice and method ofcollaboratively creating and managing tags to annotate and categorize content. In contrast to traditional subject indexing, metadata is not only generated by experts but also by creators and consumers of the content.” ( Wikipedia)

Tags are often displayed as tag “clouds.” A tag cloud is a visual depiction of user-generated tags used typically to describe the content of web sites. Tags are usually single words and are typically listed alphabetically, and the importance of a tag is shown with font size or color.” Wikipedia)Clicking on a word in a tag cloud generally takes one to a list of items with that tag.

An example of a tag cloud can be found in the left-hand column of this page under the links to the different pages in this wiki. It was created by “tagging” each page of the wiki with appropriate terms and then using the built-in tag cloud widget to form the tag cloud.

See where you can search multiple social software sites by just clicking on a tag from a giant tag cloud–or you can search by keyword. “Search for something as wide-ranging as “library” and you will pull up results from Flickr, Youtube, Digg, Photobucket, Dailymotion, Reddit, and Click to see more in any given service or just browse the array of photos, videos and links before you. Simple and fast. This is a nice way to explore tagging and tags across several sites.”–Sites & Soundbites Blog

Uses of Social Bookmarking

in School Classrooms, Libraries and with students

  • List web resources by class. Students go to the the bookmarking URL and click on the tag for their class
  • Create pages of links students need for creating a particular project
  • Teach about social bookmarking to students and teachers
  • Help students manage resources for projects and papers
  • Help teachers organize resources for units, projects and topics
  • Organize favorites in different ways
  • Access bookmarks from home, school, classrooms, or anywhere
  • Linking from library media center webpage to links for different disciplines, classes, teachers, projects, etc.
  • Create RSS feeds of different tags for the school library media center webpage to keep it current
  • Guide students to most-relevant websites for assignments
  • Sharing great sites and articles with other library media specialists
  • Sharing sites with teachers by tagging them with their names and/or subjects
  • Store and organize bookmarks
  • Create pathfinders
  • Collect and share lesson plan ideas
  • Collect and share new curriculum related websites when the curriculum is changing
  • Provide quick bookmarks for specific teachers for specific research projects
  • Create a page of research/report help sites
  • Create bibliographies for student research
  • Check out sites recommended by others with similar interests
  • Contact others who have similar interests to collaborate on ideas, projects, papers, publications, presentations
  • Annotate websites for students and teachers
  • Export bookmarks for handouts or websites for students and teachers

 Quick Picks for Social Bookmarking

 More to Explore

  • Bag the We For any topic, you can create a “bag” to collect, publish, and share any content from the Web. Beyond most social bookmarking or curation tools’ capability, BagTheWeb enables users to build networks of bags. This way bags can be linked together to provide rich and complete information about any topic.
  • BlinkList “Like iTunes for Webpages.”
  • BonzoBox – Keep screenshots linking to to all of your favorite sites on your homepage, and see if you have new E-mail at the same time. Send websites to each other through the Bonzobox messaging system.
  • BuddyMarks“The online personal, group and social bookmarks manager.”
    “Only users you designate as your “buddies” have access to your sites and are allowed to combine their tags and sites with yours. That would allow your students to experiment with social bookmarks in a safe environment. Try using them for research projects or science-fair projects, so the information students find can be shared collectively!–” the Education World Techtorial, Bookmarking without Borders
  • Butterflylets you redline any webpage. With ButterFly-Reader© you can add hyperlinks & notes, highlight words, look up information, translate selections and more. All within the same webpage and all within one single mouse-click
  • DiigoSocial bookmarking plus sticky notes and highlighting! Special premium accounta are availble for K-12 and higher education at Education Diigo with these features:
    • You can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
    • Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
    • Privacy settings of student accounts are pre-set so that only teachers and classmates can communicate with them.
    • Ads presented to student account users are limited to education-related sponsors.
  • EdTags “Social bookmarking for educators (e.g., teachers, education graduate students, professors, librarians, etc.) to connect with people sharing similar interests, discover relevant materials that may have “eluded” the traditional card catalogue search, and store and categorize your favorite bookmarks.” Import from browser favorites and/or
  • Google Bookmarks
  • H2O Playlists An H2O Playlist is a series of links to books, articles, and other materials that collectively explore an idea or set the stage for a course, discussion, or current event. High schoo, college and professional use.
  • Jog the Webis a web-based tool that allows anyone to create a synchronous guide to a series of web sites. Its step by step approach of taking viewers through web sites allowing the author to annotate and ask guiding questions for each page is unique.
  • Listandgo allows users to organize their favorite links in one location while also creating a system for keeping those links in various folders for easy viewing.
  • Create, find and share lists of anything.
  • LiveBinders Organize your favorites into “binders” with tabs and sub-tabs and share or embed those binders.
  • MiddleSpot Search, zoom and pan on screenshots of your results, collect and store your results on a personal “workpad,” share your workpad.
  • Only2Cicks thumbnails of frequently-used, bookmarked sites; sort by category, drag and drop; share. Free version displays ads, however..
  • Pinterest Pinterest is a site where you can “pin” (or collect) photos you find on the internet. The photos link to the webpage or blog post where the photo is located, so you can read more about it.
  • PortaPortal Your bookmarks online and accessible from any machine anywhere.
  • QuickLinkr Copy and paste any URL and then the app will provide a visual snapshot of the link onto your “quickboard.”
  • SimplyBox makes a thumbnail of bookmarked websites, allows others to comment. Display as a full page for each item, as a grid, a list, or “freely” scattered arrangement. Make public or keep private. Share via URL, RSS feed or even Twitter! See the overview video
  • SiteHoover Visual bookmarking that lets you know when a bookmarked page has been updated!
  • Sitemark Similar to Only2Clicks, you can create thumbnails of your favorite sites, add tags, categorize them by tabs, and share with others. There are a large number of “clubs” available–already created bookmarks by topic.
  • Skloog Organizes bookmarks via nice visual icon of the site. Begin with favorites provided or create your own. Share with others, too.
  • Squidoo Save bookmarks by topic and see those others have created, too.
  • Speedtilekeeps track of your favorite websites. Save and organize your bookmarks in a clear and visual environment, always up to with daily snapshots. Sort your personal tiles by most frequently used, recently visited or just drag and drop them as you see fit!
    Use tabs to categorize your bookmarks. Share with others as you choose.
  • SpeedyMarks create visual bookmarks and open your favorite web sites.
  • Sqworl Makes thumbnails of sites you want to save and return to.
  • Symbaloo
    Is a highly customizable graphic page with “tiles” creating a “webmix.” Share your webmix or use those others have put together.
  • Tidy Favorites Customizable thumbnail images of your favorite sites. (Download for Windows only)
  • Tizmos A personalized homepage that allows you to see thumbnails of your favorite sites (tizmos) all in one place. You can add, edit, and delete Tizmos on your page
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • YourPort is a logo based personalized homepage that displays all your favorite sites on one page.or tab. Add, Edit and customize your page .Make multiple tabs. Keep some private; share otehrs.
  • Zigzag A semantic-based tagging system

A little different:

  • iBreadCrumbs “A social network for researchers to share recorded URLS, track websites, review notes online, and encourage online collaborative research.”
  • Skimbit Save bookmarks, images and notes by topic. Share with others, see what they have created and add to the projects/lists of others.
  • Social Bookmarking Tools for Images:
    • FFFFound allows the users to post and share their favorite images found on the web, but also dynamically recommends each user’s tastes and interests. The more you save images, the better the recommendations.
    • oScope First search the Web for images. Then drag-and-drop the ones you want into a “My Folder.” Next, write about them as a group and email the My Folder link to yourself or a teacher to be posted on an online journal or blog.
    • WeHeartIt a social bookmarking tool for images and videos. Put everything you saw and liked on the same page to look again whenever you want.


Learn More!

Most social bookmarking tools have their own tutorials, tours, or demos. Check the sites you are interested in knowing more about.

More Info!

For more  about social bookmarking in libraries and library media centers, see:

Social Bookmarks from licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike Non-Commercial 3.0 License.