Social Bookmarking: the red-headed step-child of social media explained

by Julie on July 14, 2009


By Leslie Fishlock

Whenever I hear of pundits speak of social media, chances are they’re chatting mostly about Twitter, with a cup of Facebook and a pinch of LinkedIn thrown in for good measure. Blended on high with blogging and sprinkled with YouTube. But social media does play a much grander role in your overall recipe for a successful online strategy, with some other very sexy tools as well. If you want to be an even better “resource” for your clients, audience and others, then engage in sharing your resources in a manageable, organized and searchable way online.

How does one go about this, you ask? I speak of the art of Social Bookmarking and most notably Delicious and StumbleUpon.

Why should you use Social Bookmarking?

Social Bookmarking is a way to collect, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of “tagging” or metadata that makes it searchable.

The old way of bookmarking was computer-based. It is:

  • too messy
  • too long
  • too cumbersome
  • you are tied to only one computer and cannot share with others

The new way to bookmark is very easy, very useful and quite sexy, too. Social bookmarking is:

  • Accessible from any computer anywhere (as long as there is Internet)
  • Useful, Easy and Fun
  • Public – made to share
  • Social – invites interaction with others: clients, friends, globally
  • Resourceful and positions you as the expert with the good information


Delicious is a social bookmarking tool that lets you use any computer because it’s web-based. It’s a phenomenal way to manage your bookmarks for others to see, or keep as private for your own use.

You simply:

  • Setup a free account at
  • Setup on browser bar
  • Follow people and get people to follow you back
  • Determine what is public or private – Do not share if you do not want to share
  • And make sure you tag sites (very important!) so that people can find you and your information


Though not exactly a bookmarking service like Delicious in theory, StumbleUpon does bookmark your favorite sites and connects you to others through mutual interest – it’s just a little more random. Based on your search terms, it lets you ‘stumble upon’ new sites. It’s also a fantastic way to get content you like or produce in front of the eyes of people with common goals.

StumbleUpon is great because:

  • Let’s you discover great websites of interest to you
  • Search is based on what you choose
  • Can easily market your own/client sites
  • Rating system – Like it or not (content)
  • Not targeted, but can be highly effective

StumbleUpon is very easy to use, and be forewarned, quite addicting! I personally have spent hours clicking on the StumbleUpon tool into the wee hours in the morning, checking out sites I would probably never found any other way.

You simply:

  • Setup a free account at StumbleUpon
  • Start Stumbling on home page using the Web Toolbar to become familiar with the service
  • Create an account to save favorites and to connect with other members
  • Download the Toolbar to access all the features available and to share sites discovered

Social Bookmarking may not be your thing, but I use it a lot. With well over 238 million websites with tons of information and content, and still growing, I find it a necessary weapon in my social media arsenal and time management.

Leslie lives at the helm of Genevate, a professional web development, design and social media/inbound marketing firm specializing in standards compliant, Ruby on Rails web application development for clients all over the globe. She is also the founder and #1 Geek Girl of Geek Girl Camp, whose mission is to educate and empower every girl and woman at every age level, on every skill level, at every income level on computer technology.

Image credit (delicious cupcakes): Rakka * (delicious logo): Mike Stopforth * (stumbleupon): VolPman

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