Advantages of Using Online Bookmarking
Bookmarking services such as delicious came along very early before the surge of services of the social media revolution. They could now even be considered the start of it, although at the beginning bookmarking was probably considered more of an online service than a sharing activity. The popularity of social bookmarking rating sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon and Reddit left ordinary bookmarking in the shadow.
However interesting, popular and up to date the content on the rating sites may be, they are not as useful for reference or research purposes as the bookmarking sites. I see two three main reasons for this.
Because our digging and stumbling is "social" we add sites that our friends favor or those that we want to get noticed, for ourselves or for others. What reaches the top is often more about how many contacts the originator of the bookmark has rather than the quality of the content. I will digg and stumble all sorts of topics which, although they may interest me, I will never look for again. I regularly refer to my diigo bookmarks.
Secondly, despite the availability of tagging, tags are either not totally relevant to the content, or they are tagged inappropriately, on rating sites. Digg’s range of categories reflect its News and Video purpose but not the broad range of topics it is actually used for. Stumbleupon allows more flexibility, but it is unusual to see full advantage being taken of this, meaning a search for a topic of a given tag brings unsatisfactory results. Lately I have noticed an increase in mis-tagged articles either: through mistake or mischief. I have never done a search on these sites, whereas I regularly do so on diigo and delicious. The social features of the latter also allow me to add contacts who bookmark topics I am interested in and whose tags I can refer to.
Finally, although the delicious type bookmarking sites may not be not used to their best advantage, as far as tag applying is concerned, it is still far easier to find relevant information on a given topic and information does not get so easily lost over time. The rating sites are all about what is new. This is fine if you are looking for breaking news or for such things as the latest happenings in the entertainment industry or the latest scientific findings. They are not the place to go for research on factual and non changing information. On the plain old bookmarking sites people add articles that may be years old but still of value. The best of these are bookmarked the most bringing the most valuable information to the fore.
My personal favorite bookmarking site is diigo because it has more advanced features than others and it also automatically posts all my bookmarks to Delicious which, after using for years, I was loath to let go of completely. Today I discovered an excellent reason for using the diigo/delicious combination for duplication. Ma.gnolia, one of the main bookmarking sites, lost all their bookmarks! Their database is unretrievable.
The tagging, relevance and searchability of the bookmarking sites make them a valuable tool for research and for bloggers they can be a useful resource for your readers too. I add bookmarks to sites I believe you will find of use on diigo and therefore also on delicious.