As social networking becomes an ever more popular way of building an online social community, audio blogs and video blogs are becoming a common way of interacting with both social and professional audiences. Social bookmarking service providers have realised the importance of blog bookmarking for professional users, and are incorporating bookmarking for blogs as a new and exciting tool in search engine optimisation (SEO) concepts.
Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organise, search for and manage bookmarks of web pages that may be of interest to them, using metadata. A social bookmarking service gives that system a ring of authority and credibility in a marketplace that is potentially open to spammers, as well as credibility with the major search engines. Incorporating audio blogs and video blogs is perhaps a more recent addition to blog bookmarking, reflecting the rise of multi-media technology on the web, as shown by the popularity of sites such as YouTube.
The idea of shared online bookmarks and bookmarking for blogs dates back to 1996 with the launch of itList, which included both public and private social bookmarking service provisions. Over the following years, blog bookmarking became competitive, with several for-profit companies entering the marketplace on the back of the dot-com boom. Once that particular bubble burst, the majority of the companies disappeared - social bookmarking service provisions just weren't profitable enough at that point.
The majority of these blog bookmarking companies also failed because they recommended the use of a traditional browser-based system of folders, rather than the more bot-friendly tags. As thinking changed, new companies emerged with a more holistic approach to the use of blog bookmarking, encouraged by the development of audio blogs and video blogs, rather than just traditional text pages.
In 2003, del.icio.us pioneered tagging and coined the phrase 'social bookmarking'. A year later, del.icio.us were joined by Furl and Simpy and the related recommendation system Stumbleupon. As technology advanced, the big players joined the market, with IBM's Lotus Connections entering the fray in 2007. Bookmarking for blogs was starting to capture the interest of SEO developers and consultants as an additional way of raising the exposure of worthwhile sites to a wider audience.
Advantages of blog bookmarking
A social bookmarking service has several advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software such as search engine spiders. The tag-based classification of resources on the Internet (such as audio blogs and video blogs) is done by human beings, rather than automated systems. A human researcher will understand the content of the resource, as opposed to just its algorithmic content. Blog bookmarking can also rank a resource based on how many times it has been bookmarked by users. Human researchers also have the advantage of dumb luck - they may just stumble across a blog or resource that hasn't been noticed or indexed by the web spiders. For users of a social bookmarking service, it can be a useful way to access a large collection of audio blogs and video blogs that may not otherwise be bookmarked, or for a user to collate a library of bookmarks that would take a long time to accumulate.
The disadvantages of blog bookmarking
With regard to search data, blog bookmarking and social bookmarking service provisions have their disadvantages. Blog bookmarking works on a tag-based system, and as such there are no standard sets of keywords to define the parameters of the search, no standard for the structure of such tags (for example, singular versus plural, capitalisation, etc.), there is the possibility of mistagging due to spelling errors or inconsistencies between, for example, American and UK spelling differentials and a host of other potential problems in search parameter specifications. However, the biggest problem with blog bookmarking is the possibility of Black Hat techniques by spammers. Bookmarking for blogs is open to assault from those who see it as an opportunity to flood a particular arena with pages that are tagged multiple times.
The rise of the Internet as a social network has meant that virtual social interaction, both for recreation and for business, has become a cross-border pastime. Video blogs in particular have given additional credence to the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture even more so. Audio blogs have opened up a social network that also includes the visually impaired, allowing them to participate fully in social bookmarking service facilities.
Once a user is on a social bookmarking service, they can store a list of Internet resources, including video blogs and audio blogs, which they find personally relevant and useful. The list that this user compiles is then available to other users of the same social bookmarking service, making bookmarking for blogs a self-perpetuating organism. Other users with related interests can then add their own blogs or sites of interest to that bookmark, which is then seen by the initial user. And so it grows. Bookmarking for blogs can be categorised by category, topic, by specific tags or even using random criteria.
This holistic system is becoming popular in more business-orientated sites, such as Workology. Workology is a social bookmarking service, but operates more as a social network community for professionals. Each member of the community has the opportunity to submit blogs, including audio blogs (and hopefully at a later stage video blogs too) that are accessible to a group of professionals (for example, filmmakers and writers). These users can then link through to each other, and build the number of blog bookmarking tags within the group. Through this system, members can contact other Workology subscribers and go on to build up direct links that may, eventually, lead to career and work opportunities.
The development of bookmarking for blogs has opened up an entirely new aspect to social networking - not only insofar as expanding ones social circle, but in the promotion of business opportunities as well. Video blogs can act as a cheap alternative to television advertising, and by the same token, audio blogs cost a great deal less than a commercial radio advertising campaign. Because the system is specifically designed for users who have the same or similar interests, the marketplace that your video blogs and audio blogs are exposed to are those most likely to be interested in the services or products you have to offer.
While bookmarking for blogs isn't by itself a great search engine alternative, it can be used to augment search results by incorporating a more human perspective. A recent research paper presented at Stanford University in the US concluded that, whilst sites like del.icio.us are not yet ready to make a serious impact on search results, there are still ways in which it can be used to improve results, particularly when taking into account the increasing importance of video blogs and audio blogs. As more SEO experts see the benefits of using bookmarking for blogs as an effective SEO tool, the popularity of this system will probably see a considerable increase, particularly amongst business users. Bookmarking for blogs is a quick and easy way not only to increase your potential marketplace, but also to raise your own profile, incorporating written, video blogs and, where relevant, audio blogs too.
Alpha Media recognises the importance of providing a full range of tools for SEO development, and a social bookmarking service is one of those. Bookmarking for blogs is going to see an increase in interest as the Internet becomes truly multi-faceted, and our teams of experts are at the cutting edge of blog bookmarking as an SEO tool. Contact Us to find out more.