How Social Bookmarking Works

This is the thirteenth post in the Professional Development 2.0 series. If you have not already, I would encourage you to start with the first twelve posts:

To start participating in social bookmarking, you need to sign-up for a free account on a website. There are several free social bookmarking websites. I am just going to recommend 2. The first is Delicious; it is the first social bookmarking site. It is still one of the most used and easiest to use. It has become somewhat limited in functionality compared to some newer options, but it is stable and a good choice. The second option is comparatively newer, but it adds some features that make it extremely popular among teachers. Diigo allows you to not only bookmark websites, but highlight sections or write notes on them. In addition, it lets you create and manage classes so you can easily share resources with students, which could be incredibly powerful. You are free to choose any social bookmarking service you like, but we will be working with Diigo throughout the next few pages. Most of the functions will look similar in whatever site you choose to go with.

To get started, go to and sign up for an account. Export your bookmarks from your web browser. (There is a tutorial available on this and all other important aspects of Diigo here.) Click on Tools on the top-right of the Diigo website, then click Import Bookmarks. Follow the directions to let Diigo import you bookmarks and, in a moment, all of the bookmarks that were on your computer are now online as well. If you use multiple computers, just repeat this step from each computer with different bookmarks. If you want your bookmarks to be private, check the box at the bottom or they will be public by default.

Adding new bookmarks is fairly simple. You are already on the tools page. Click on the Post to Diigo button. There will be instructions on the page. Just drag the button to the bookmarks bar in your browser. Notice in the top-left of the picture below, there is a button that is part of my browser. That is how it will likely look on your screen as well. Click on that button whenever you are on an interesting website, and you can catalog on Diigo.

It is important to recognize, though, that no social bookmarking website organizes their bookmarks with folders in the exact same way that your web browser does. Diigo and other sites use the idea of tags. A tag is basically a category. When you bookmark something, you can type in as many tags, or categories, as you want to help keep your bookmarks organized.

Lastly, you should add people to your network so you can see when they post new resources. Below is a picture from my network. You can see that the people in my network are posting different and interesting, to me at least, websites. I can click on any of them and, if I consider them good resources, I can add them to my library.

Adding people is very simple. Anyone on Diigo is able to give you a link to their library, or list of bookmarks. If you are not already following this person, you can add him or her to your network by clicking the Follow Me! button on the top-right. A link would look like either (my list of bookmarks) or (bookmarks from the people I follow). After you have 1 person that you are following, see who else is in his or her network that posts good resources. As this chain continues, it helps you because you gain access to a plethora of good resources you might not have discovered on your own.

Social bookmarking is just one part of a personal learning network. Often, one of the best ways to find people to follow is to look for people from the social networks that you follow.

3 comments to How Social Bookmarking Works

  • ktenkely
    Twitter: ktenkely

    And then there is me…I signed up for every social bookmarking site but use the one that few others use. I use Simply Box. I like the visual bookmarking, it makes sense to me. I do wish that it integrated better with the more popular social boomkmarking sites so that I could share across platforms.
    ktenkely´s last blog post ..Cost of NCLB Testing Info Graphic 53 billion is TOO high

  • Hi Mr. Bedell. My name is Margeaux Estevane. I came across your blog as a requirement for my Educational Media class at University of South Alabama. I was only required to read your most recent post, but I was interested in the subject and wanted to understand it better, so I read all posts on the professional development 2.0 I am so glad that I did. I gained some very useful knowledge as to how the education network works. As a student, I am quite unfamiliar with the way that teachers network with each other. Thank You for explaining Twitter. I was always put off by it, but now I think I might actually join. I was pretty familiar with social networking, but I did not know hardly anything about social bookmarking. I love this idea. I know that I have a ton of “bookmarks” on my three browsers, what an interesting idea to put them all in one spot..and be able to share them!!! And I appreciate the explanation of the process. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I look forward to seeing the next one. As a future educator, I want to familiarize myself with everything that is available, to be able to reach out to my students and other educators, in the best way possible.
    MARGEAUX ESTEVANE´s last blog post ..Project 8-PODCAST

  • Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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