I have received quite a bit of feedback on my last post on social bookmarking. That tells me a couple things – first, that this blogging thing really works, and second that people are into
social bookmarking. If people didn’t care, my post would have gone
unnoticed. That bodes well for the future of social bookmarking!
One of the responses I received was from Djoeke van de Klomp, who is the User Community Manager for Blinklist, another social bookmarking site that I admit I have not tried. She passed along a link to The Great Social Bookmarking Survey,
which I of course filled out. You can fill it out too and in return
you’ll get a copy of the results (if you submit your email address).
Here’s what I had to say in response to the main question of the survey:
One of the features that I think would take social bookmarking to the
next level is greater awareness of content types (and context). Am I
bookmarking a web page? A flash presentation? An mp3 file? A video? An
image? I don’t think the interface, the metadata, and the other
supporting features are truly consistent for each of these content
types. The interface and metadata for an image should be different than
for a web page. Maybe this is like a mashup of Flickr and a social
bookmarking service, who knows! The way these services behave now
though isn’t THAT much different from the bookmarks we have in
browsers, except that they are available online. There needs to be
something more to take it to the next level. The value proposition has
to be more than just, “share your bookmarks online”!
Yes there are other things like tags, and services like Shadows
add discussions into the mix and while those features are great, I
don’t think they are enough to make the average user jump into social
bookmarking. They see it as more work! And it’s a tricky balancing act,
make no mistake about it.
How do we add enough interesting features that savvy users can run with
it and make it their own, while continuing to make it simple enough for
the average user to understand and use?
Tricky indeed. Another thing I’d like to see is an API that all
social bookmarking sites agree upon so that we can integrate them into
browsers and other applications! Or does this already exist? As far as
I know, Flock is the only project working towards integrating social bookmarking into the browser.
If you’re interested in taking a look at the various social bookmarking services, there is a pretty big list at Wikipedia. And roxomatic has a PDF which compares 19 different services (last updated on August 11th, 2005).
Read: Take the Survey!