Social bookmarking

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About this article

This article explores the function and process of social bookmarking and reviews some of the tools used to support it. It is intended for all members of the campus community.

What's bookmarking?

On a practical level, this is a simple question. Every browser includes tools for saving and managing links to Web pages. Some browsers refer to these saved links as "bookmarks" (e.g., Firefox, Chrome) and some call them "favorites" (e.g., Internet Explorer). We will use the term "bookmark" in this article. DiCarlo (2009) suggests that people use bookmarks to save links to pages they...

  • Intend to review later
  • Intend to share with others later
  • Visit frequently (e.g., banking, shopping)
  • Wish to collect and curate (e.g., a collection of readings for a class)

This is a complex question that is subsumed by the question, "What's browsing?" Both of these fall under an even larger umbrella: "What do I do with the information and services on the WWW, how do I relate to them, and how do I incorporate them into my daily life effectively?"

Historically, people bookmarked pages to gain quick access to information and services without having to recall and enter the full web address. You bookmarked the often long and complicated web address of your local bank so you could access it quickly when you wanted to shop online. You bookmarked so you could quickly access sports news. Some allow you to save your bookmarks to the cloud so you can access them from multiple devices.

Can and should bookmarking be more social?

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