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Social Bookmarking and Research

May 16, 2011

There are dozens of social bookmarking sites to choose from

For several years, I’ve used Delicious to store bookmarks of websites that I’ve come across that I want to save. As the BBC reported on 28 April this year, YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have purchased Delicious, a popular social bookmarking service, from Yahoo for their new Internet venture, Avos. The change is also reported on the Delicious Blog, with a link to related information about transferring saved bookmarks to the new owners. The Delicious entry in Wikipedia was soon updated.

The term Social Bookmarking (explained in plain English here) was coined by Delicious in 2004, but the history of the practice goes back 15 years. This month (May 2011) Delicious ranked 6th is a list of the top 15 most popular social bookmarking websites. Twitter topped the list, followed by Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon. It is worth logging on to several services and searching for keywords related to your work. For academic research, Citulike and Connotea are recommended. Making your bookmarks visible to others, by saving them using one of these services and making them public, enhances your online visibility and reputation, and attracts others to your blog or other websites. In 2005, Educause published a useful overview that lists 7 things you should know about Social Bookmarking. Students and academics are making increasing use of these tools, as Janet Temos discusses in a post, “Collaboration Tools for Scholars” on a Princeton University Blog. Recent research is investigating how social bookmarking can be improved to provide the most relevant articles and sites for researchers.

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