Basically these sites are way for people to share bookmarks. Social software services such as these are causing a lot of buzz around the net. In this case the idea is to share your favourite places on the web. It means for anyone who moves from computer to computer – perhaps between work and home that because your book marks are on the web, you have access to your favorite websites from anywhere .
Although bookmarks can be kept private the idea is to share them and you can see what other people have found and see who has the same interests as you which of course means you can share bookmarks with your friends. People can rate bookmarks on Ma.gnolia so it acts as a sort of popular quality control. It also means that you are browsing through links that are thought to be worthwhile by people – not a search engine. I am sure everyone in their browsing have encountered link farms and quickly realised just how useless they are. Social bookmarking is not like that. A person has thought the link worthwhile and entered it into their favourites list. It is along the line of bookmarks by the people for the people.
Ma.gnolia allows for tagging. Anyone who is familiar flickr will have encountered tags. Tags are like categories or labels that you and others can allocate to bookmarks. It means you can search or browse by tag. It’s a great way to while away an afternoon.
You can import your bookmarks from popular browsers or other social software sites such as del.icio.us so you don’t have to re bookmark everything. I imported 500 odd bookmarks from del.ic.ious and it only took a few moments. Also Ma.gnolia keeps a copy of the page so if you have ever had the experience of bookmarking a site and then discovering it is no longer online you at least have a copy.
Also Ma.gnolia caters to groups which the social aspect of bookmarking is highlighted making it slightly different from del.icio.us. People can leave messages in a similar way you can at flickr. At the moment most of the groups seem to be orientated around geeky topics which is normal with new stuff like this, but there is no reason why the textile community can not establish groups and use the service. Anyone who is a member can start one. Best of all the service is free.
Just in case anyone is interested my bookmarks are under – you guessed it – sharonb. Now if I was really good I would annotate the lot – but I am a bit busy to do that but I think a good sort out might be in order. They are a bit geeky but they are open for anyone who wants to take a peek.