Ma.gnolia is a social bookmarking service developed by Zeldman and crew. They are one of about one hundred such services including del.icio.us, reddit, furl, and many more. All of these social bookmarking services offer the ability to save bookmarks to their database and they differ significantly from there.
The idea is that if web surfers collectively pool their links into a single database, each surfer can browse that database to find more of the sites they want to see. While there are 100 or so bookmarking services, each one exists because they have different information that is saved along with the link and different methods for browsing links. Let’s take a look at some of the major players.
Popular social bookmarking services
del.icio.us is one of the most important players in the social bookmarking arena because they are the largest and close to the oldest. Much of the way they organize their links for users to browse is based on tags.
Digg was revolutionary because they popularized “digging”. Instead of rating a resource from 1 to 5, you either digg the link or you don’t. Then people can tell how valuable a resource is based on the number of diggs it has.
Ma.gnolia take an interesting approach to bookmarks as it treats each entry as though it were a blog post. You can even use ma.gnolia to claim your bookmark blog on Technorati. Ma.gnolia also features communities with moderators that users suggest links to share.
Furl is an interesting bookmarking service because they will analyze your bookmarks and then make recommendations for other links and other people’s bookmarks.
CiteULike is heavily geared for academia. It’s a pretty standard offering as far as features, but if you are looking to share, store, and organize academic papers, this is the space for you.
Components of social bookmarking
Tags are a big part of social bookmarking. Tags are keywords or phrases that are assigned to a bookmark for categorization. Bookmarks can be tagged with more than one keyphrase.
Friends and networking
Many of the social bookmarking services allow you to create a profile as well as add people to your network. Other people are great sources for links and I recommend making friends with interesting bookmark mavens.
For the infovore and busy bee sometimes it makes sense to subscribe to link feeds. Say you made a friend on del.icio.us that has the best links and you want to know about them all the time, then subscribe to their links via RSS or ATOM or some other XML feed format.
Most social bookmarking services offer the ability to add a link in your bookmark bar in your browser, which you can click to save the current page you’re viewing to save it.