Social Bookmarking – A Joy and A Nightmare for Webmasters

DiggYou see them here, you see them everywhere. Social Bookmarking links and icons to sites such as Digg, which encourage Internet users to save web pages of interest into an online storage area. This can be shared with other social addicts, rated and commented on. There are many available sites to choose from, all boasting wonderful community features.

Of course communities are a superb thing. Websites can be built upon or destroyed if the community aspect isn’t perfected, but it is this side of Social Bookmarking that really bugs me. When a story is shared in this way, you can receive a lot of interest, which of course equals hits. Great, that is exactly what we as writers want to see, but there is a problem with this exposure believe it or not.

Many of these Social Bookmarking sites have comment areas for each of the bookmarks. This doesn’t link to your comments area, but instead is a separate entity they host and maybe even will miss unless you track or even check your referrals. I do have a problem with this. Working together is absolutely wonderful, but when you lose out on comments and sometimes even worse you read ones that totally miss the point due to readers only viewing a small quote rather than the whole article, provides many misgivings and misunderstanding.

As the original author, the yearning to respond is high, considerably when you notice these individuals who post complete and utter rubbish responses and when you can clearly see they haven’t taken the time to read the entire article. The ‘I know best’ attitude that can sweep through these websites with the faceless and anonymous avatars that appear frequently.

We all desire greater exposure on the Internet, fighting off the many millions of websites also vying for position, but we are in fact breeding the quick fix digest rather than the full three course meal. They are the centralised hub of excellence, hopefully promoting the intellectual thoughts over the dull and dreary, but at what price? There must be another way? Isn’t there a way to keep the comments in the originators post that can then be displayed, so that everyone benefits and if not why not?

James Woodcock

Freelance Journalist, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming and technology. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, while also interviewing well known industry figures for popular online publications.

  • TorBeest

    Each social website has its own community and own target audience. They all require different levels of moderating. So if you would get those kinds of replies here, you would either have to moderate tons, or the website would turn into yet another place of meaningless comments. As I’m sure more people can make for a better community, quality does come before quantity. And defending an article that has been taking out of perspective is (in my eyes at least) pretty pointless considering where that article is being discussed. If you were a big celebrity, would you argue and comment on what they write about you in the tabloids… or just say “they’re tabloids”. I don’t think making people more sensible should be done on their own turf, while they’re on defence…

  • Ahh you are missing the point though :)

    People can feel more confident posting on these other sites about your posts as they know there isn’t that much chance of the author replying. Instead you are lucky to be aware of these comments in the first place unless you track incoming links and take the time to read the comments on these sites.

  • TorBeest

    Yeah, but is it really worth correctifying someone saying “noop, 360 suks” ? Some are even happy if the author replies so they can bash even more.

    Unless, of course, you value their opinion high enough. I guess it comes down to knowing where the interesting people post, and reply to those.

  • Well I am glad I have sensible people like you posting here :)

  • TorBeest

    Haha :)