Once the province of techie types and news junkies, social bookmarking is emerging as a fun trend for makeup devotees and fashionistas to discover and share their beauty and fashion finds on the web.
While there are numerous social bookmarking networks out there, not all of them are created equal in terms of finding high-quality, beauty-related content.
What is Social Bookmarking?
Do you use your browser to save, or “bookmark,” your favorite web pages so that you can return to them later? Social bookmarks are basically the same thing, except you use an account on a social bookmarking site to save your favorite pages so that they can be accessible from any computer and can be available online to share with others.
This article assumes that you have a basic understanding of how to use social bookmarks. If you have never subscribed to a social bookmarking site, you may want to read our beginner’s guide to social bookmarking to get a better idea of how social bookmarking works and how to get started.
What Social Bookmarking Networks are Best for Health, Beauty, and Fashion Websites?
Though Del.icio.us is not the most initially intuitive or user-friendly site, it earns the top spot because it has incredibly rich and very current content. Plus, once you get the hang of using tags and locating relevant sites, you’ll find that Del.icio.us offers a simple user-interface that allows you to neatly categorize and access your favorite bookmarks.
Once you’re logged into your Del.icio.us account, try typing “http://del.icio.us/tag/makeup” into the address bar at the top of your browser. Del.icio.us will then display the most recent sites and pages that other users have categorized under “makeup.”
In addition, you will also see related tags on the right side of the screen. Among these tags, you will probably find categories like “cosmetics”, “beauty”, “perfume”, and others. Click them to explore more sites under those categories.
Another way to find relevant sites is to explore the bookmarks of users with interests similar to yours. If you find any of their links interesting, simply add the links to your own collection.
Del.icio.us also allows you to see how many other people chose to bookmark a particular link, which can be helpful in assessing whether a link is particularly interesting or useful.
If you’d like, you can also add other users to your “network”, so that you can keep track of other sites that they find.
What StumbleUpon (“SU”) lacks in quantity, it makes up for with being fun and easy to use. Once you’ve downloaded your StumbleUpon toolbar, you’re reading to start “stumbling” onto beauty websites that have been bookmarked by other users.
To explore beauty websites, simply select “Beauty” as one of your topics, hit the “Stumble” button, and start surfing! SU will randomly show you a website about beauty and, if you like it, you can give it a “thumb’s up” and save the link in your own collection of bookmarks.
If you don’t like the site, just give it a “thumbs down” and SU will try to avoid showing you similar sites. A word of advice when using StumbleUpon: Be forewarned, SU can be pretty addictive.
Digg is simply one of the most commonly used social bookmarking sites on the web and while it’s a fantastic resource for finding what’s popular and being widely read on the internet, it’s certainly not a hot bed for beauty or fashion news.
While Digg is heavily oriented towards web development issues and tech news, the most provocative, discussion-worthy stories du jour — of all categories — are sure to surface here. Your best bet for finding beauty-related stories is to browse the Health category.
In addition, searches using keywords such as “beauty” and “makeup” often reveal deeply interesting stories that overlap with other subjects such as politics and science. Whether or not the resulting articles are beauty-related, browsing through Digg is certain to uncover some good reading.
Reddit uses a point system where you vote either for or against a story depending on whether or not you find it interesting. Over time, Reddit is supposed to analyze your preferences and recommend sites based on the way you have voted.
While there are some interesting beauty-related stories and articles to be found in Reddit, they can be few and far between and it may take a good bit of “weeding out” before you start consistently finding stories that are of interest to you. Furthermore, the beauty-related content is not very current.
A review of social bookmarking sites that are rich in beauty-related content just isn’t complete without some discussion of Technorati. Since blogs are some of the most fertile resources for current beauty news, product reviews, and discussions, you’ll inevitably want a better way to search beauty blogs, discover new blogs, and keep track of all your favorites.
Technorati provides a centralized location to do all of these things. A simple Technorati search for “cosmetics”, or “makeup” will yield a surprisingly large number of information-rich results.
Another reason why Technorati is a great resource for discovering high quality beauty blogs is because of its membership. It is likely that some of your favorite bloggers already belong to Technorati and it can be really interesting to see what they are reading by checking out their “favorites” list. After all, what better way to discover the best blogs than to sneak a peek at what the best bloggers are reading?
The More You Bookmark, the Better it Gets
Since social bookmarking networks are user-generated sites, their content is really only as good as the effort that its users put into creating a community that provides useful, valuable information.
We’re living in an exciting time where the mainstream is entering into this new way to surf the web. No matter what social bookmarking site (or sites) you choose to join, try to make an effort to truly contribute to it and help build it into a place that will attract users with interests similar to yours.
The more quality websites you bookmark, the more the community will develop. The more members you have in the community, the more likely you will discover the new sites that they bookmark. It’s a circular, viral process that can be a fun and enlightening experience.
So go ahead, dive into social bookmarking; and every time you discover something you enjoy reading, make sure to bookmark it!