Prior to the advent of online bookmarks during late 1990s, the only alternative to save bookmarks was through standard browser bookmarks. Of course, the browser style bookmarks with which people are most familiar is the good old Microsoft “Favorites” folders. While these types of bookmarks are handy, the appearance of live bookmarks and social bookmarking sites has revealed their many limitations.
Traditional browser bookmarks are fine for users who do not have plans to access their bookmarks via any other computer than the one on which their files are saved. However, that all changed when Delicious bookmarks was launched in 2003. Although there were prior attempts made to create a successful online bookmarking system, Delicious was the first to become a resounding success; and one of the keys to its success could be attributed not only the ability to bookmark pages online, but to share those bookmarks with others.
While being able to save, organize, and access your bookmarks online was infinitely convenient, being able to share with your friends was the key to the success of Delicious. Today, the “sharing” technology that Delicious popularized has been integrated into every other form of social bookmarking and social media site. The most popular of these is, undoubtedly, Facebook; and now we have everyone from middle school students to elderly great grandmothers sharing to Facebook their personal photographs.
The ease with which anyone can bookmark this page or bookmark that page, and then share it with hundreds of friends, has made an immense impact on society. Bookmark sharing has become so pervasive that virtually all businesses now promote their products and services via social bookmarking and social media sites. Thus, if one social media user decides to bookmark this page with their friends, the business gets free exposure to hundreds of people.
During this day and age, it seems as new web technologies are coming down the line every week. While this is an exaggeration, change occurs so fast that it is impossible to see what lies in store for users of social media and social bookmarking sites. The only thing that is certain is that it will be exciting.