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Social Bookmarking Sites: A Breakdown

I read a recent post on Performancing.com that a number of bloggers weren’t using the social bookmarking sites available and since I have been active on a few and a lurker on the rest I thought I would give a breakdown of the sites I have linked to from this blog.

First of all, in WordPress I use WP-Notables to make the system – its easy and takes little to no thought. Just activate the plug-in and add the 1 line of PHP into your comments.php for your theme (or anywhere else you want to drop the links).

1) del.icio.us – strangely enough this is the site I am the least familiar with. It is pretty straight forward but until recently was mainly focused on technology and technological issues– apparently they have expanded beyond that now. The system is fairly strict– don’t try setting up 10 account on the same IP and voting yourself to the top– they will be on it rather quickly. Also, the frontpage is controlled. (If by editors or by friend groups has never really been determined but the top posted contribute the majority of the posts on the front page.)

2) Digg.com — Digg also amazingly started as a tech geek site as it still primarily focused at that group. Digg’s user base seems to be about the same people that you will find on myspace– a young somewhat savvy audience– again something like 60% of the posts on the front page are from the top 10 users– so the system is rather difficult to break into.

3) Spurl.net – While it isn’t my intention to “rip on” any one site it seems to me that Spurl is completely over run with spam– the things that make it to the top “hot sites” seem to be garbage. I may be wrong about this but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of commenting system which makes other sites so appealing. .Commenting is a major part of social networking.

4) Wists.com is a social shopping bookmark site– it allows you to simply and easily create adds– so easy in fact that the entire page is flooded with ebay ads. I don’t know if real people even use this site.

5) Simpy.com — while the site is pretty basic looking it lacks a major feature that seems to have eluded this social bookmarking sits and their quest for stickiness: comments. Also, from judging traffic stats it seems to be a site over-run by spam.

6) Newsvine.com – This is probably my second favorite social bookmarking site. The layout is professional and clean- it is probably the future of social bookmarking as it reaches mainstream audiences. They are very much again the self-promotion of your site and will flag you site fairly quickly if you submit yourself to it. It has pictures (which is rare on these sites) it also looks like a professional news site. Fairly popular with a older (and rather political crowd) I can see FoxNews purchasing this site for some reason.

7) BlinkList.com — fairly nice looking site. Again, I don’t know how many actual people use it– it is essentially a digg rip off stealing pretty much the entire layout.

8) Furl.net — the site is okay, you have to be a member to see what others are bookmarking. As best I can tell it has a very small active user base.

9) Reddit.com — (the reason I am writing this) If I had to guess I’d say eventually reddit (if it stays about where it is now and doesn’t draw too much of a crowd) will probably be the next “slash-dot” (*note: I don’t mean this in a replace slash-dot kind of way but the same sort of people will be attracted here) Very web savvy. They don’t click ads. Which is actually a strong discouragement for spammers. If a mod/editor votes your story down to a zero it disappears. They are after a very specific kind of news (and other fun stuff)

10) Blogmarks.net — Blog bookmarks mainly for developers (web 2.0ish developers at that)

11) myweb.yahoo.com — seems to be pretty much garbage. I’m shocked. I have gotten asked to fill out the same survey on how they could improve their service 100 times

12) Ma.Gnolia — uses a tag cloud– isn’t the easiest site to navigate, has a few “featured” writers but overall it just doesn’t have the same appeal or stickiness as the others. The Usability is a big factor in this.

13) Netscape.com — the front page is controlled by editors. They want to pay top diggers to dig on their site. The site has a huge volume of hits everyday but I would like to see the bounce rate and I am just not sure social bookmarking will appeal to the average person using netscape.com as the default homepage for at least 2 more years.

**Please Note: Do Not Spam these sites– it will completely remove the value from these services**

This is a basic overview and is up for editing if anyone has other sites or information add it to the comments.

Author: Chris Berry

19 thoughts on “Social Bookmarking Sites: A Breakdown

  1. add another called linksprocket com super fast 3 clicks to add your site. I have a post hit the front page and got a fury of hits that my host complained about so be prepared for traffic surges.

  2. I like the discussion and I too feed that digg is becoming a place to write crap atleast in comments section and very few people actually write nice links. For developers I like the dzone.com better. I use Joomla CMS and recently found another website by joomlaprodigy, which is actually quite a nice site for cool joomla extension and amazing part is that the author is a surgeon with not much coding skills to begin with but a smart Doc to learn to code such nice stuff in a short time. It is nice to read on his site as it always makes sense. He has developed a new site for social bookmarking for developers, a new site but I am sure he has the potential to make it better.

    Overall I feel there is a need for a site dedicated for developers that focus on some way of filtering the links posted and comments that are nothing more than a nuisance for a serious reader.

  3. Segio for that dugg article I didn’t see a jump in new members but Nick might have seen a leap in RSS subscribers. Interestingly enough some of our posts appear on digg more than once, a strange phenomena where enough people see it for the first time months after publishing.

  4. A word on Newsvine

    If you have a blog that caters to news coverage, this site is pure gold. It takes time to build a reputation here, but once you do you can easily funnel traffic to your own site via links in the articles you post on Newsvine. Because this audience is also more tech-savvy than usual, it’s a nice way to gain RSS subscribers as well.

    But like all good things, it takes time.

  5. @Sergio: The spikes I am talking about are content driven and not coming from a source like digg. But nevertheless if the content is representative for your site then I would say yes, you could expect that 1% to 3% stay. If you do a site about red vine and you cover a big rock’n roll event once then I would not expect that so many numbers stick to your site. But on a beer blog it could be different 🙂

  6. The concept is okay, I guess– but looking at it actually HURT my eyes.

    1. Your about us section is a dirty lie– there is no about us
    2. Put useful stuff in both the About Us and the FAQs, please make them two seperate links from the bottoms
  7. Apologies, for my plug, just thought it was relevant to this post. Check out The Best Stuff in the World. TBSINTW is a kind of wiki voting system, or a Digg and Del.icio.us for everything else. Any opinions, good or bad would be great.

  8. There are a number of sites such as diigo. (i.e. onlywire.com) which I didn’t include in this list as they don’t provide their own content only another way to add your bookmarks to other services.
    A few I did leave off are: Fark.com and Sengalo. I left Fark.com off because I don’t have a lot of experience and that last time I checked it was for funny videos (which it isn’t anymore– I just couldn’t give a true impression of the service). Sengalo is an italian only service (sengalo.alice.it) and I couldn’t give it a fair evaluation as I don’t speak italian and using a translator can only get you so far.
    If anyone thinks it would be helpful I’d gladly go through the other services such as:
    feedmelinks
    Maple
    Markaboo
    LookLater
    Shadow
    blogmemes
    and give a bit of insight about these as well. I originally wrote the article to give information specifically about the services available with the WP-Notables plug-in. Just let me know.

  9. del.icio.us and flickr are two that I use heavily. The other one that I have started using a lot lately is Diigo. It’s kind of a hybrid between del.icio.us and Google Notebook and has complete integration with del.icio.us, i.e. I can automatically save all bookmarks that I save on Diigo to del.icio.us as well.

  10. It does vary from post to post and how representative of your blog the dugg post is. For example one blog I know of had a one-off funny video get to the popular page of delicious, her subscribers fell back to normal figures almost immediately with no noticeable increase. This is why we advice you to have a kick-ass archive when you launch.

    Which dugg story are you talking about Sergio? Since launch our big jumps of subscribers have been when PFF really got noticed and of course Metrics. Posts do not really cause that much attention in comparison really (as you would expect), although our feed is through feedburner not metrics where I can get to see the stats so it is Nick that follows the RSS subscriptions.

  11. What you are saying is that spikes like digg or slashdot or wahtever makes 1% to 3% of the visits staying? That is a great number, as I’ve heard that a frontpage digg can take you something like 10 to 15 k visits, you will get more 200 to 500 visits a day. Is that it?

  12. After a well visited article I always notice more feed readers– and I will agree with your 1-3% numbers.

  13. My experience is that always some visit numbers are sticking to your statistics after that spike. The numbers I watch are between one and three percent from the visits during the spike.

    I am talking about numbers not people! I never went down to the same average again after a well visited article.

  14. In general the “dugg effect” is noted for shutting down sites with the insane amount of traffic that is suddenly dumped upon them. (Or at least sites that never intended to have to deal with that sort of demand) so I would guess (while I am not a Performancing person– nor do I have access to the data) that they probably got a ton of page views and maybe a slight spike in traffic. Really, it is the possible long term effects I am more interested it. So spikes of traffic don’t really mean much if it doesn’t convert down the road.

  15. I would like someone of performancing commented of the results of the dugged story a few weeks ago. It received more than 1100 duggs. Was the increae on traffic big? Did you noticed more registrations? Subscriptions? Visits on the next days? Incoming links?

  16. I agree to the point– that for an established site most of the social bookmarking sites aren’t really that worthwhile. I can’t find the quote now (it was from a forum post by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz) but appearing on the front page of Digg and Reddit garnered a website something like 300 incoming links over the two weeks following. And that seems to be the real attraction to the social bookmarking sites.

  17. I would love to use newsvine and reddit but …

    Newsvines policy is not acceptable for me. The level is also very low in my ‘niches’.

    Reddit is simply to small in my niches. de.reddit.com is nothing.

    Del.icio.us (on the long run) and Flickr (fastest reaction) work best for me. SEs: Technorati is doing OK and Google is the top leading traffic generator.

    A big deal would be to get listed as a news site for Google News. If you produce original content that goal is not as difficult as it sounds first.

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