Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WoW: Social Bookmarking - The 5 Ws & H

Last week I told you about two of my favorite online services -- Delicious and Pinterest -- and promised that this week we'd talk more about the whole social bookmarking thing. Up today: the 5 Ws and H. For those of you who skipped English class that day in high school, the 5 Ws are Who, What, When, Where, and Why -- and don't forget the H - How!

Who can/should/could use social bookmarking? You. Your friends. Your neighbors. The bloggers you follow. For anyone who has anything to save and/or share online, a social bookmarking service (comprised of a site and usually a bookmarklet tool) is a great option.

What is social bookmarking? In a nutshell (and as defined by yours truly), social bookmarking is saving and sharing the awesome things that you find online. Saving=bookmark and sharing=social. Pretty logical.

When should you socially bookmark something? Anytime you find an idea that you love that you want to save for future use and/or share with friends. Obviously, if you don't love it... don't bookmark it. :)

Where should you save and share you bookmarks? There are a bazillion and a half different social bookmarking sites around (just check out the list here), but today I'll give you the run-down of a few of what seem to be the most popular.

First up, Pinterest. Pinterest is the new kid on the block, and I extolled its virtues last week. For today's purposes, here's the cliff notes version: Pinterest is awesome because it is easy and because it is very visually oriented.

Next, Delicious. I also talked about Delicious last week, so the cliff notes again: Delicious is great for users like me who save anything and everything and want to save bookmarks in multiple and diverse categories.

The information that I share about these other services is straight from the services themselves and my experience playing around with the service for a few minutes -- I don't regularly use any of these services, but they are popular and worth looking in to if you're looking for a good social bookmarking site to use. If you use any of these or know anything about them, please let me know!

StumbleUpon is intended to help you find new sites and web pages that fit your interests and share those with your friends. Select a few of your interests, and click Stumble, and StumbleUpon will present you with highly rated (based on users' ratings) sites. You then give the site a thumbs up or down and can save and/or share the site/page, including sharing the page on Facebook and/or Twitter. Read more about StumbleUpon here.

FriendFeed allows you to easily share items of interest with your friends and get your friends talking about these shared items. Share through the FriendFeed site or by integrating your account with Facebook and/or Twitter. Read more about FriendFeed here.

Xmarks helps you keep your bookmarks organized across multiple computers or devices and mulitiple browsers, too. Read more about Xmarks here

And, if none of those fit your fancy, you might try Digg or Tumblr.

The social bookmarking service that works for you will be based on what you bookmark and why. 

For example, I am a chronic bookmarker. I bookmark everything I could ever want to maybe consult at some point in the future. So, Delicious works for me because it is, in my opinion, primarily a bookmarking service with a secondary socialization part. The majority of my Delicious bookmarks aren't automatically shared with others, but anyone can see what I've bookmarked if they're so inclined.

But, for the things that I really really love or that I know that my friends will love, I want to share those, so I use Pinterest for those. I also use Pinterest for inspiration that is more visual -- such as an item in online clothes catalog (that probably won't be online forever), instead of a tutorial for how to make a similar item.

Why use a social bookmarking site? You can always save your bookmarks using the Bookmarks menu in your browser, but then if you switch browsers or computers, your bookmarks don't move with you. Online social bookmarking means that you have your bookmarks wherever, whenever and they're safe from life-changing events like your computer crashing. :)

Now tell me... How do you save and/or share the things you find online? Do you use social bookmarking? social networking (Facebook/Twitter)? classic copy-paste into an email? the real-life human grapevine? post-it notes?

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of two sweet little things (except on the days that they aren't) and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.

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