The trouble with Bookmarking sites

The issue I have with Bookmarking sites is essentially, what’s the point?  Sure, I have a Pinterest, I have used Stumble Upon and I take it there’s about a couple dozen more not so popular floating around but really, I don’t use them often because they can be well, quite boring.  The definition of bookmarking as defined by Brick Marketing is:  The concept of social bookmarking can be compared to personal bookmarks, or favorites lists. These networks allow people to add links they like, not just their own. Social bookmarking can be used by anyone, but is generally utilized for business to business information, or business to consumer information.

We use bookmarks on our desktop to identify sites that we visit often, this is a useful tool if you forget the web address or go back to a favorite article to re-read.  With social bookmarketing we are in a way sharing this same information.  We are also, in a way, doing free marketing for companies.  When I post a picture of the Ford Flex as a future vehicle I would like to purchase, I share this information with my ‘friends’ that shows my ‘likes’ and ‘goals & aspirations’.  My friend Darryl in Arizona might say, ‘hey, I like that Ford Flex, I may buy one also’.  Sure, I shared and introduced something personal or special with my ‘circle’ of friends, but at the same time I just promoted and marketed for Ford Motor Corporation.  Do I get a marketing bonus for promoting for a major auto corporation?  Um, sadly no.  Social bookmarketing is essentially the same as good ol’ fashioned mouth of mouth communication.

The unfortunate thing is, sure it makes one feel good to introduce a friend to something hip, something lively they may not have known about before. Artistic endeavors fall into this vein. If I hip my friends to the new artist Joey Bada$$, a young rapper from New York that has a jazzy laid back flow, intelligent word play; with well thought out story subjects that reminds me of the mid-90’s hip-hop heyday of A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Pharcyde joints I still adore to this day. Many of my friends have dismissed the current crop of rap stars for the overinflated commercialism that perpetrates the radio today. If I can share a new artist they probably would have never heard of, I feel satisfied.

Overall though, the impact of our ‘sharing’ or free marketing is hard to evaluate unless you get some hardcore feedback. On Facebook or Twitter the likes and re’pin’s give some testament to your reach, but what exactly are the bookmarking sites really supposed to do? Social networking sites you can essentially bookmark likes and trends already; plus a lot more – bookmarking sites are most narrow-minded, not in what you can post, but how you can.

Of the gamut of bookmarking sites available I would have to say Pinterest is the most unique and worthwhile one to use. With everything linked together you can post on the site and send it right to your social networking sites making it more useful. Whats cool about it is the format used and presenting a story in pictures. You can link with your friends and also show off to strangers, promoting a worthy cause or interest you are interested in. Pinterest seems geared more towards women though and I’m sure I can find data to back this up, that’s okay, I like to share with women. If I write something I would like shared I know women will take care of me better than most men, its just common sense.

Now, overall, the bookmarking sites seem to be a likely portal for corporations to sell their goods as that is the mold it is originally built under. Oddly though, they have not figured out ways to manipulate it like they used to rule other forms of media. That really is a good thing. Still, unless I find a way to make some residuals off of my online to mouth free marketing, I will save my sporadic bookmark sharing to worthwhile causes, goals, and artistic endeavors with the occasional product pitch if I just have to share my great find! Maybe I just want to keep it for myself?


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