Free Social Bookmarking for Small Business Marketing


The roots of free social bookmarking tools date back to the mid 1990s, when itList was launched in 1996. Although crude and limited by the standards of today, itList did feature both private and public bookmarking capabilities. A year later, NASA revealed its own bookmarking system, which it dubbed WebTagger, which featured fairly advanced organizing and sharing potential.

Between 1997 and 2000, there were several other attempts to create a viable bookmarking system, but the bursting dot com bubble put those efforts to rest. It would take another three years before a new social bookmark service finally created a stir within the online community.

When Delicious bookmarks were launched in 2003, it was a pioneer of sharing and tagging; and as a result, Delicious had become a hot commodity by early 2004.The success of Delicious opened the flood gates for both copy cats and legitimate competitor social bookmarking sites; chief among these was StumpleUpon, which remains successful today.

Although web users appreciated having the option to save and organize bookmarks online, the ability to share links was central to the popularity of social bookmark sites. Consequently, online “sharing” was appropriated by other types of websites and web tools, each of which made sharing links central to their individual designs. In 2013, social media users routinely share on Twitter links every day; however, that technology can be attributed to the pioneers of social bookmarking.

Given the pervasiveness of free social bookmarking, forward thinking businesses quickly realized that bookmarking sites like Delicious, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Reddit could be highly effective and affordable tools for reaching thousands of potential customers. As a result, social bookmarking has become a basic tool of internet marketing. After all, if you can share on Twitter links related to your business, you have instant access to over half a billion potential customers.

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