In every article on this site are a series of buttons at the end and a few larger ones on the right hand side,
If you left click any of the icons, a new window will open and take you to that social bookmarking site. Selecting the 'More...' option will open a list of all social bookmarking sites, offered by 'Add This': the organisation which supplies the button links.
Why would I want to bookmark something and what are these sites for?
There are several reasons for bookmarking the site, the most obvious and where it gets its name from - is so that you can find it again. The second reason is that if you like a site and think it's useful or interesting, posting it on one of these sites will draw others' attention to it too. It's a social method of ranking the web. The third and less obvious reason is that these links affect the ranking (SERP) of the site in question. By linking to the site, you are offering a small vote of confidence, which is noted by search engine spiders like Bing, Yahoo and most especially Google. This will affect the site's ranking - it's a form of democracy, you vote for what you like, and the quality sites climb the rankings ladder.
These bookmarking sites are all the same then?
Nope. They fall into broad categories and are useful sites to know about generally - so the Inside Guide might get a vote from you, but hopefully by explaining how they differ, you should get a lot of valuable use out of them. Nearly all require you to register or 'join' which is good. Nobody wants 'bots' running around the web 'voting' for spam sites. Below is a quick guide to the best of them (IMHO), and how they differ.
- Favourites, Email and Print - these are local and just what they sound like - Adding to the favourites of your browser, sending by email or printing on your own printer.
- Facebook, Bebo, MySpace - social network sites and well known by most users. This is a way of grouping people according to friend-circles and sharing information amongst that group, or to the entire population.
- Gmail, Hotmail, AOL Mail - this is web mail, and well known to most users. You must have an account to send or receive.
- Delicious, Digg, Connotea, Buzz Up, StumbleUpon, Mister Wong, Folk-D, Backflip, Buzz, Lynki, Diigo. These are the social bookmarking sites. They work like the bookmarks in your browser. Every time you visit somewhere you rate highly, you add it to your collection of bookmarks. There are two big differences here: firstly - everyone else on the site can see your bookmarks and vice versa. Secondly the link back to that site is permanently available (not so on your browser bookmarks, which are only there when your computer is switched on and connected to the internet). The upshot is that the best sites can be rapidly shared and promoted. Like a chart, high-climbers are noted and attract a lot of attention. You discover the best sites on the web this way - and the best sites do well and continue to offer quality or interesting information. The 'social' web - Web 2.0 - which is a term often name-checked, but usually incorrectly. These are the best social bookmarking sites in rank order, from personal experience.
- Squidoo - deserves its own slot as it's trying to do something different and does it well. Squidoo is full of 'lenses' (where the 'squid' part comes in). These are mini-sites within the parent site, each about something of particular interest. Which can be anything. You don't have to be a programmer - you just need to have some creativity. You could lose hours browsing this site. A mini-Inside Guide to London Squidoo lens has been built and is ranking well. A link to the lens is published in the left-hand margin, under the title - 'Follow Us'.
- Slashdot, Technorati, Reddit - these are news sites. They like breaking stories about technical (especially web) subjects and are picky about what they publish. Understandable as they have the highest PageRank, which they don't distribute with wild abandon.
- Twitter - Micro-blogging service. You follow people, hopefully they'll follow you and you can send out very short update entries. Initially about what you're doing, but these days it's full of businesses touting their wares. The links are sites they want you to look at. For Twitter to work, you should have an interest - say, 'surfing' and mostly follow people with surfing interests. That way all the news, updates and links are about something you're interested in. Then you follow those links - e.g. tickets for an important event, boards on sale at half-price today only, pictures of today's surf in Maui, blogs abourt surfing, cheap flights, etc. It's about joining a community. Inside Guide to London is part of a small but growing Travel/Holiday community, so when a new part is added to the site, you tell your followers and you get a rush of traffic. It works, but getting thousands of followers all with different interests means that when you post, hardly anyone listens. Be wary of that
Can I add the Inside Guide to more than one site?
Sure. You can add it to as many as you like, though that would take more time. If you like what you see, share it around. Shape the way the web develops - which is the democratic nature of Web 2.0 in action.