What is social bookmarking?
Social bookmarking is a way for people to share and talk about the things they find online. There are literally hundreds of different social bookmarking sites, ranging from the general to the niche. All of them with various sized communities of people. These sites might each offer a slightly different way of "bookmarking" a site, but what they all have in common is the idea of sharing your favorite site with your friends, peers, and community.
Which communities should I join?
The first thing you should do is take a few minutes an visit some of these suggested bookmarking sites and see what you think of them. Head over to Reddit and check out what's on the front page. You should not join a community just because you think you have to. Social bookmarking can be really fun, so take the time to find a site you're going to want to be a part of. I personally love StumbleUpon. I use my Stumble button every day. I give a "thumbs up" to what I like, and I'll even write a review for the stuff I love. However if StumbleUpon felt more like work than fun, it would be very difficult for me to be part of the community. Look around and you'll find something you love.
What benefits can I get from socialbookmarking?
There are several benefits to get from good social bookmarking. When used appropriately, social bookmarking can help you build quality back-links and send new traffic to your ArtFire Studio. If you take the time to become a valued member of the community, like all things social media, you will be able to reap the benefits.
How can social bookmarking be abused?
Marketing gurus have been trying to crack social bookmarking sites since their creation. The problem with trying to "crack" such sites is that people want something back with no investment. Trying to get traffic from asocial media site without taking the time to be part of the community is like trying to withdraw money from the bank without ever making a deposit.
I can't stress enough that you need to take the time to figure out what the community likes and help deliver that content to them. If you're creative, you will be able to find a way to make your content, your studio, and your items, the kind of content that a community will like. What Delicious users like won't be what Mixx users like, which won't be what This Next users like. But if you like the content a site delivers and you enjoy being a member of the community, you'll be able to give something back to the community that it values while reaping the benefits of traffic and links at the same time.
How do I get started with social bookmarking?
You can get started by simply checking out a few different bookmarking sites. Check out the general sites and the niche sites. Where do you keep gravitating back to? If you enjoy the site, chances are you'll fit in well with the community. Try to only pick one or two sites that you'd like to keep up with and become a part of.
Once you have a couple sites you like, join them and watch for a little while. See what kinds of submission are really taking off. If I notice that Delicious really likes top ten lists, I might try and figure out a way I can write a top ten list on my blog that I can submit to Delicious. However, I would recommend not submitting anything promotional for at least a week. Spend some time getting involved and understanding the community, and then you can figure out the kind of content the community will like.
I can't submit to a site, what's wrong?
There are a few sites that are currently not allowing new URL's from ArtFire.com. I'm bringing them up as an example of what not to do so that we can hopefully avoid this issue in the future. Social bookmarking sites do not like when users "spam."
www.delicious.com -A more traditional "bookmarking" style submission process but a very popular site. Delicious users add their favorite sites and pages as bookmarks and tag their submissions so that other users browsing similar tags can find popular pages.
www.reddit.com - A social link site where users submit links for the community to up-vote, down-vote, and comment on to decide what links are popular. Reddit is broken up into many different Sub-Reddits that have links according to different topics. Submissions that receive many up-votes in a short period of time usually hit the front page of their Sub-Reddit and are discussed and visited frequently.
www.stumbleupon.com- Stumbleupon is a social bookmarking site that allows users to thumb-up or thumb-down any site on the web. Users "stumble" by installing the Stumbleupon toolbar and using the "stumble" button to be taken to a website submitted by another user that matches one of their pre-selected preferences. Sites that receive many thumb-ups are considered popular for a given preference and may receive many "Stumbles" because of the popularity of the page.
www.propeller.com -A social news aggregator where users submit and vote on stories to decide what is seen on the front page. Users can also comment on stories and carry on discussions about the topics.
www.mixx.com - A user-driven social content site. Users submit content in the form of news, blogs, pictures, videos etc. Mixx users search the site to find relevant media that matches their interests and can interact with their friends and other users who share similar interests.
www.shoutwire.com -A community news network that allows users to submit and comment on the latest news. Submissions are "shouted" or "bashed" to decide what is popular.
Shopping and Fashion oriented:
www.chictini.com - A fashion based website where submission can be voted as chic or weak.
www.thisnext.com -This Next is a social shopping site where users can submit their favorite products that other users can see. It helps combine browsing for discoveries with the trust that comes along with peer recommendations.
www.Iliketotallyloveit.com- Users may submit their favorite products with links to where they can be purchased. Similar to voting engines like Reddit, enough votes can get a link to the front page.
www.votehandmade.com- Brought to you by the creators of ArtFire. Vote handmade lets users submit their favorite handmade products to be voted on by the community.
These are just a few of the larger sites that are being used every day by millions of people. Many of these sites are included in the Bookmark Item link on all item listings, allowing you to quickly post an item onto a site available. VoteHandmade and This Next even have large buttons for submitting items along the left side of an item.
Check these sites out, but don't forget to search for others too. If you're serious about photography, you can search "social bookmarking photography" and you'll probably find a social bookmarking site just for photography. Or one of these bigger sites might have a sub category just for your niche. One thing I can promise you is that if you invest the time in the community, you will get a great return.
Here are two articles on social bookmarking you might like to read. From my favorite socially generated encyclopedia, the fist gives a great background of social bookmarking. The second gives an extensive, yet still incomplete, list of over 150 different social bookmarking sites out there.
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