15 Tag Based Sites

We discuss social news and bookmarking sites.

Class held on 10/27/2008. Student notes are available on this page. Possible questions are available on this page.

Class structure

  1. Go through “At beginning of class” information
  2. Go through diagram explaining page monitors & RSS filters
  3. Work on exercises

At beginning of class

  1. I haven't graded anything new.
  2. Check the class notes page to see who is taking notes today and who is coming up with questions.
  3. Go over any other announcements you might have missed since last class.
  4. Check the start page for any blogs you might be interested in that you might have missed.
  5. Again: I have arranged the Yahoo visit for early December. Don't miss that class!
  6. Let's look over the upcoming industry updates.

My notes

Introductory information

  1. Describing with tags
    • Taxonomies
    • Folksonomies
  2. Types of social sites
    • Social News (based on tagging)
      • Technology
      • Search & Internet marketing
      • For researchers & scientists
    • Social Bookmarking (based on voting)
  3. Features & dimensions
    • Voting
    • Current (e.g., “what's hot”)
    • Time periods (e.g., “last hour”, “today”, “last week”, “last month”)
    • Topic categories (e.g., “business”, “entertainment”)
    • Tags (both personal and shared)
    • Web storage & search
  4. Discuss the sites

General market size information


The following series of charts shows the relative traffic for several social news and/or bookmarking sites. The first chart shows that digg has about 7x the traffic of reddit. I am using these two sites as benchmarks for the two charts after that. (Each chart can only compare five sites.) In the first chart, digg is the benchmark, while in the second chart reddit is the benchmark. Again, remember that digg has about 7x the traffic of reddit.


The second chart shows the relative traffic of digg, stumbleupon, slashdot, propeller.com and fark. Here you can see that digg is approximately 3x the size of the next busiest sites, stumbleupon and slashdot. Propeller and fark are no more than 40% of the size of those smaller sites.


The third chart shows reddit as the clear size leader, though mixx (which only came onto the scene in any reasonable sense in May 2008) is growing quickly and relatively steadily. Newsvine is showing some signs of growth as well. Both dzone and sphinn have maintained a relatively steady amount of traffic for the last year.


The fourth chart shows traffic comparisons for sites that are more focused on social bookmarking than news. There has been a clear growth in traffic over the last year with CiteULike and Diigo leading the way. Over the same period of time simpy has lost traffic, ma.gnolia has maintained, and Connotea has grown significantly.


The fifth chart shows the relative traffic of the two largest social news sites (digg, stumbleupon), the largest social bookmarking site (delicious), and a smaller, but growing, social news site (diigo) — which can barely be seen at the bottom axis.



Social News sites

General news

  • Digg (about, tour, search): “Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web… We’re here to promote that conversation and provide tools for our community to discuss the topics that they’re passionate about.”
  • Reddit (about, search): “reddit is a source for what's new and popular on the web — personalized for you. Your votes train a filter, so let reddit know what you liked and disliked, because you'll begin to be recommended links filtered to your tastes.”
  • StumbleUpon (about, video intro, guide, search): “StumbleUpon helps you discover and share great websites. As you click Stumble!, we deliver high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences… This helps you discover great content you probably wouldn't find using a search engine.”
  • Propeller (about, tour, search): “Propeller is a social news portal, meaning that it is programmed by you – the audience. Our members post links to stories from all over the Web… Once the link has been posted, you can vote on it, comment on it, share it with friends, or bookmark it to read later.”
  • Fark (about, help, search): “Fark.com, the Web site, is a news aggregator and an edited social networking news site… The idea was to have the word Fark come to symbolize news that is really Not News.”
  • Mixx (about, tour, search): “You find it; we'll Mixx it. Use YourMixx to tailor the content categories, tags, specific users and groups, and we'll deliver the top-rated content as chosen by you and people who share your passions. So go ahead and whip up your own version of the web. Just tell us how you like it Mixxed and we'll deliver the best the web has to offer”
  • NewsVine (welcome, help, search): “At Newsvine, you can read stories from established media organizations like the Associated Press and ESPN as well as individual contributors from all around the world. Placement of stories is determined by a multitude of factors including freshness, popularity, and reputation. Contribution is open to all, and editorial judgement is in the hands of the community.”

Technology focus

  • Slashdot (about, help, search): “News for nerds. Stuff that matters.”
  • DZone (about, search): “Fresh links for developers.”
  • For Search & Internet marketing professionals
  • Sphinn (about, help, search): “Sphinn is a social site for search and interactive marketers. It's designed to allow you to share and discover news stories, read and take part in discussions, discover events of interest and network with others.”

For researchers & scientists

  • Connotea (about, guide, search on homepage): “Saving references in Conntoea is quick and easy. You do it by saving a link to a web page for the reference, whether that be the PubMed entry, the publisher's PDF, or even an Amazon product page for a book. Connotea will, wherever possible, recognise the reference and automatically add in the bibliographic information for you.”
  • CiteULike (help, search on homepage): “CiteULike is a free service to help you to store, organise and share the scholarly papers you are reading. When you see a paper on the web that interests you, you can click one button and have it added to your personal library. CiteULike automatically extracts the citation details, so there's no need to type them in yourself.”

Social Bookmarking sites

  • Delicious (about, video tutorial, help, getting started, search): “Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows you to tag, save, manage and share Web pages all in one place. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet.”
  • Furl ([ about], help, video tour, uses of furl, search): “Furl is a free service that saves important items on the Web, allowing quick retrieval for future access. Furl archives a personal copy of every page and provides a search service the full text of all archived items. Each Furl member has a personal archive of 5 gigabytes (GB), large enough to store tens of thousands of searchable items.”
  • Diigo (about, video tour, tour, search): “Bookmark, highlight, and add sticky notes to any web page. Organize your bookmarks and annotations by tags or lists. Multiple ways to share your bookmarks and annotations.”
  • Magnolia (tutorial, search): “How is Ma.gnolia different from other social bookmarking services? It starts with making the social side of social bookmarking work better. With contacts, groups and different ways to share bookmarks both within and outside of Ma.gnolia, we make working together on a casual basis or more formal projects fun and easy.”
  • Simpy (about, help, search on homepage): “Simpy is a social bookmarking service. With Simpy, you can save, tag and search your own bookmarks and notes or browse and search other users' links and tags. You can be open and share your links with others, or keep them private. Simpy also helps you find like-minded people, discover new and interesting sites, publish your bookmarks, detect and eliminate link-rot, etc.”

General articles

  1. 30 largest social networking sites (October 2008)
  2. Social bookmarking sites
  3. Articles on folksonomies

Possible blog topics

  • Compare two of the social news sites.
  • Compare one of the social bookmarking sites to delicious.
  • Review Connotea or CiteULike from a student's perspective.
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