Link Blogging – Social bookmarking systems should merge with the blogosphere

I think there is a strong case for the confluence of two of the most important trends on the net – social bookmarking and blogging. Clearly, social bookmarking is the newer one and thanks to emerging concepts like folksonomy, it is spreading rapidly. There is even a blog dedicated to the idea called tagsonomy. After reading the social bookmarking paper I posted about 2 weeks back, I started to think about how social bookmarking could actually benefit blogging and vice-versa. Blogging has now come to be accepted as a powerful yet simple medium for expressing ideas. As many have pointed out, blogging is not easy and few people can do it well over extended periods of time. Blogger burnout is on the rise and many bloggers have simply called it quits. IMHO, the rise of social bookmarking is probably a reaction to the fact that many people have experimented with the blogging medium and realized social bookmarking is easier for them to do. Ultimately, as experts have observed, blogging or any other medium of self-expression stems from our innate need to share ideas, opinions, information and knowledge with our fellow human beings. Of course, a strong dose of encouragement and recognition would help keep the motivation going. Unfortunately, unlike the blogosphere there is no recognition/encouragement mechanism built into the social bookmarking systems (granted that when many people bookmark the same link, it does serve as some sort of affirmation). A few people have tried to create sites like pioneers, but that does not do enough justice to recognition/encouragement. The reason being, there are several bookmarks created by the social bookmarkers that serve as triggers for blog posts. I call this “link seeding”. Ironically, my earlier post on social bookmarking was picked off of Aside from this, I have picked several links from Waxy, which is one of my favorite link blogs. At the crux of it, a social bookmarking system could be seen as a link blog and could be incorporated into the blogosphere. Once that conversion to link blogs happens, it will be relatively easy for social bookmarking systems to adopt Trackbacks (invented by Sixapart), which is essentially the blogosphere’s technique for recognition/encouragement. I do realize that Trackback spam is a problem (i battle it everyday on this blog), so I don’t make this recommendation lightly. Probably, it can be done using the “Technorati cosmos search method” that Boing Boing (click on Blogs’ Comments link on any Boing Boing Post) has used for a while and Engadget (click on Linking Blogs link on any Engadget post) started using recently. That is a good segue into the other advantage of social bookmarking, namely, tagging. if you use something like my favorite social bookmarking system, you get the advantages that tagging brings. Once the social bookmarking systems are converted into link blogs, the tagging systems can be merged with Technorati’s tagging system making the social bookmarking systems infinitely more searchable. does assign a unique URL to every bookmark, so to enable trackbacks should not be a big problem. Another advantage I see in this approach is that social bookmarkers could leverage the plethora of blog popularity measurement tools offered by The Truth Laid Bear, Bloglines, Daypop etc.  Almost all the measurement systems use incoming links as a key measure of popularity, so when social bookmarks get referred by various blogs, they will collect a lot of incoming links. This could catapult and other social bookmarking systems to the front ranks of the blogosphere and pull in more traffic. I believe that once the social bookmarkers start receiving trackbacks and incoming links, their motivation to bookmark will go up and hopefully more interesting pages will surface. Also the pesky problem of blogger burnout may get solved. In fact Tristan Lewis’s excellent analysis seems to point to the fact that the A-List bloggers may one day become link bloggers !


  1. Anonymous said June 6, 2005, 6:38 am:

    Really interesting thoughts. However, I am not sure if social bookmarking is the same as link blogs. First and foremost, I think that a great bookmarking engine is a powerful way to annotate and navigate the web. The best site I have seen is Here, the social bookmarking part is an afterthought that arises out of all the bookmarks that users store for their own use. A link blog would never serve that purpose. How to marry the two or bring them closer together is an interesting thought though.

  2. Anonymous said June 12, 2005, 5:55 am:

    Although I agree with you completely, I think social bookmarks AND link blogs need to be integrated with search. As more site providing these capabilities increase, finding relevant information is going to be difficult. Afterall, the www started of as sites with links. You can only go so far without having too much clutter to deal with. Sites like have already started doing this for social bookmarks, technocrati for blogs, but there needs to be some integration. A Google type solution, probably.

  3. Anonymous said June 14, 2005, 11:45 pm:

    Dear Anonymous 1 and 2,

    Thanks for your comments. Appreciate your visiting our site and taking the time to comment on the articles. Both Blinklist and Gataga seems to be interesting services. We will watch them from now on.