In a social bookmarking system, users store lists of Internet resources, which they find useful. Often, these lists are publicly accessible, and other people with similar interests can view the links by category, tags, or even randomly. Some social bookmarking systems allow for privacy on a per-bookmark basis.
This system has several advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders. All tag-based classification of Internet resources (such as web sites) is done by human beings, who understand the content of the resource.
Additionally, as people bookmark resources that they find useful, resources that are of more use are bookmarked by more users. They are percived to be more valuable by users.
The two dominant social bookmarketing services are del.icio.us and StumbleUpon.
There is a lot more information at Read/Write Web but some key take aways are:
Current number of people using del.icio.us at 500,000
Blogmarks has a total of 514,205 posts, estimated users 5,000 which is 100 bookmarks per user.
Why is this important for PR?
Read/Write Web give some interesting insights comparing two significant brands (go2web20.net and CNN). Just look at the numbers of users to get some idea of the influence of social bookmarking:
|Site||Links to go2web20.net||Estimated users based on go2web20.net||Links to cnn.com||Estimated users based on cnn.com|
|del.icio.us||1,354||500,000 (baseline)||7,429||500,000 (baseline)|
|Stumble Upon||1,271,345 (public)||1,271,345 (public)|
If your organisation, its values, properties, products or services get highly ranked in say del.icio.us, more people find it and people know what sort of community likes your organisation. It is a trust, reputation and referal advantage all in one.
To get some idea of how brands can become viral Have a look at this one for tesco then look at MySpace. So you can get the idea. Someone puts their bookmarks in Del.icio.us and they are adopted by other people and often by hundreds of people.
Of course, you might consider where you should be here.