Chapter 14. Exploring Social Bookmarking and Bibliographic Systems

Table of Contents

The Social Bookmarking Scene
Using to Examine the Popularity of APIs
Using the API
Third-Party Tools for
Third-Party API Kits
Yahoo! Bookmarks and MyWeb
A Flickr and Mashup

One of the fundamental challenges of using the Web is keeping found things found, whether it be at the basic level of simple URLs or other digital content such as images and data sets. Social bookmarking has arisen to be a popular solution to this problem. According to “7 things you should know about social bookmarking,”[220]bookmark or favorite, which is a URL stored by the user. You can try to manage these URLs in the browser by storing them as favorites or bookmarks. Social bookmarking involves storing one’s references online and making bookmarking a collaborative process.

There are several reasons for using social bookmarking:

Social bookmarking is an area in flux. At you can find a helpful chart (from 2006) comparing features of 19 systems. Wikipedia also has a list of social bookmarking sites,[222][223]

Social bookmarking is of further interest in the context of this book because of the extensibility/remixability being built into these systems. Social bookmarks also lend insight into other systems. For instance,, the granddaddy of social bookmarking sites, is generally credited with kicking off the latest wave of social, or folksonomic, tagging, which has taken many Web 2.0 sites by storm.

This chapter does the following:

The Social Bookmarking Scene

As mentioned, there are a lot of social bookmarking sites. A reasonable approach is to focus on, the one to which all other social bookmarking systems are compared. Moreover, has an API, and there is much to learn from it.

Here are some other social bookmarking sites I will mention and examine briefly:

  • Yahoo! MyWeb 2.0 and Bookmarks because Yahoo! is pursuing these properties despite already owning Functionally, Yahoo! MyWeb allows you to store pages and to use the Yahoo! identity network, a major social network.

  • Connotea is a more scholarly social bookmarking site. Connotea is backed up by Nature Publishing, and therefore it’s likely to have some longevity.

Using to Examine the Popularity of APIs

A good way to figure out what to focus on is to see what is listed on—and to focus on the systems that actually have APIs. Go to the following location, and look for services that are in the Bookmarks category:

As of August 11, 2007, they are as follows:


  • Simpy

  • Blogmarks

  • Scribble

  • Shadows

  • Jots

  • Rrove

  • OnlyWire

  • linkaGoGo

  • Ma.gnolia

Table 14-1 sorts them by mashup count.[224]

Table 14.1. Table 14-1. A Summary of Bookmarking APIs*
API Description Category Mashups Social bookmarking Bookmarks 83
Ma.gnolia Social bookmarking service Bookmarks 4
Shadows Social bookmarking and community Bookmarks 2
Simpy Social bookmarking Bookmarks 1
Rrove Social bookmarking for places; create and share maps Bookmarks 1
Jots Social bookmarking Bookmarks 1

The fact that has an order of magnitude more mashup activity than the rest of bookmark services combined is why we’re focusing on