I was pondering why I actually spend time tagging and submitting my favorites/bookmarks and blog postings to social bookmarking sites and jotted down the following: (My 'pondering' seems to occur much more frequently when I am trying to avoid doing something I don't want to - in this case finishing off some bookkeeping work which I do to help pay the bills.)
- Accessing your bookmarks from any computer.
- Creating a back up of your computer based favorites/bookmarks.
If you don't need the first and you have a satisfactory regular back up system, then what are the other advantages? For me they are:
- The ability to easily categorize your bookmarks to make them more useful and easily accessible than in your browser based favorites/bookmarks.
- The addition of tags enables multiple placement of bookmarks within different categories instead of having to perform multiple bookmark saving or copying and pasting. This is invaluable if you have a lot of bookmarks, whether you need to refer to them a lot or not. Examples
- You want to keep all tags relating to a particular topic together but need to further sub-divide this for ease of finding. Creating sub folders in your browser favorites/bookmarks can be time consuming and not all sites will fit neatly into one category. Multiple tag these in on an online bookmarking site instead. Most will allow tags to be organised into master categories too - avoid those that don't or you will end up with too long a list of tags, which defeats the purpose.
- You have bookmarks that you don't use often but still need them for future reference. If the topic is not cut and dried you may find it hard to find again. Multiple tagging helps here.
- You are studying a particular topic for a period. You want this to be handy, rather than having to search through a long list to find it, but still want to keep it for longer term reference. You can allot a general tag (e.g. web design) as well as one named e.g. 'current'.
- You don't have time to read a particular site now - assign it its general tag and a 'to do' tag.
As Social Software or for research
- Find people with the same interests.
- Find information that you may not have found yourself.
- Share your research with others.
- Keep up with what is new, popular and trendy.
- To filter search results - target an area of interest and cut out advertising and irrelevant sites.
- Get yourself known by sharing not only your own bookmarks but by tagging your own blog entries.
I am sure I would be able to add to this but I have delayed the bookkeeping too long!
Del.icio.us: Web 2