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Social Bookmarking Fashion Websites by Apparel Search - Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry

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What is social bookmarking? More importantly, how is it relevant to the fashion industry.

First of all, social bookmarking has nothing to do with your mothers book club.  Although you may have pictured in your mind a group of old ladies sitting around sipping tea and helping one another mark the pages of their mutually selected novel, this is simply not the case.  The social book marking that is referenced in this article is entirely an online phenomenon.  This practice is completely internet based and has nothing to do with either hard cover books nor paperbacks.  Even if the book club was reading a fashion book (and reading as a group in a social environment), it would still not be considered social fashion bookmarking...

Social bookmarking is actually a method for users of the internet to organize web pages.  You may be familiar with "bookmarks" from your internet browser.  Essentially, it is a way to save web pages into a folder deemed to be your favorites.  The idea is to place a web site or web page of interest to you into a folder so that you can easily find it again in the future.  Typically, when you use the bookmarking method (add to favorites) on your web browser, the web address will be saved and only you should be able to view what is in your folder.  Social bookmarking has taken this a step farther and allows you to designate if you wish for other people on the internet to be able to view your bookmarks (view your favorites).  It is social, because others can interact with the data (level of interaction will vary).
 
The social bookmarks are usually public but they can also be saved privately or shared only with a specific group of people.  Some systems may allow for you to create a combination where you can share some of your favorites and hide others.  Some systems will work in conjunction with a social network so that the network members can contribute to the tagging functions.  By the way, although it is not a social network, if you want to find the worlds best "business to business" network, you should check out the Fashion Industry Network.
 
If your bookmarks are public, they can often be viewed by category, alphabetically, chronologically, or found via search engine technology.  This will depend on the social bookmarking system or service that you are using.  Most systems allow internet users to organize, store, search, and manage (update, edit, or delete) bookmarks.  It is important to note that most systems would allow you to manage your own bookmarks.  You would typically not be able to update, edit, or delete bookmarks created by other users.  However, some systems may allow for administration by more then one user. 
 
Here is a more technical way of describing the concept...  Bookmarking is often done with the help of metadata (keywords) typically in the form of tags that collectively become a folksonomy (social tagging).  In a social bookmarking system, users save hyperlinks (url's, links to web pages) and have the ability to view or share the bookmarks via a web browser (viewing on the internet).

The tag or keyword is an essential aspect of bookmarking. A tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information. This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are selected by the item's creator or by its viewer, depending on the system. On a website in which many users tag many items (such as a social bookmarking site), this collection of tags becomes a folksonomy. If that sounded too complicated, here is an example in English. If I want to tag a website page that helps me shop for a sexy black dress (for my wife not me...), I may wish to create three unique keywords (tags) for the page. I would probably tag the page with the three words "sexy", "black", "dress". If the system allowed for using more then one words separate by commas (phrases), I might try these three, "sexy black dress", "sexy dress" and "black dress".

If you were curious about who pioneered tagging, I believe it may have been the company founded in 2003 called del.icio.us which is now called Delicious.  If you wish, you can view some of Apparel Search on Delicious.  Unfortunately, we have not had time to add many of our pages to Delicious, but we added a few as an example.  Delicious helped pioneer tagging and may have actually coined the term social bookmarking (not positive, but that is what I read). 
 
As read at Wikipedia April 28, 2009, "Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks.  Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.  As these services have matured and grown more popular, they have added extra features such as ratings and comments on bookmarks, the ability to import and export bookmarks from browsers, emailing of bookmarks, web annotation, and groups or other social network features" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking).
 
One of the primary benefits to social bookmarking is that the tags or keywords are added by humans.  People read the content of a web page and then decide the words that best describe what is found on the page.  This is helpful to the user when they wish to find the page again.  It also helps other users if they have made their bookmarks public.  Although the fact that the keywords are selected by humans is a positive aspect.  It unfortunately, is also a negative.  After all, people do make mistakes. 
 
Overall, social bookmarking is an interesting method for internet users to help organize the web... 
 
At this point, I think we have had enough discussion about the boring aspects of how social bookmarking functions.  Boring you was not the initial purpose of this article.  The goal of this article is to explain the relationship between "Fashion" and "Social Bookmarking".  OK, here goes...
 
In the past, newspapers and magazines had been very fashionable methods to educate the world on fashion relevant matters.  However, as with all trends, things change...  The winds of technology have blown thru town and we have found ourselves in the age of the "internet".  Most of what we have known in the past regarding how to disperse information has essentially flown out the window.  As with all other industries, the Fashion Industry, must adapt to the new trends in technology.  Hence, we must embrace the internet and find new ways to spread our fashion wings and share our stylish ideas with the world. 
 
In order for me to express to you my thoughts on fashion, I first must create a method for you to find my words of wisdom (I guess it worked, because you are undoubtedly reading this).  One way to share your thoughts on fashion is to create a fashion website.  After you have the site set, you certainly want to submit the url (website address) to leading search engines such as Google.  Can you guess another thing that fashion website creators should do???  Well, I certainly hope a bell went off in your head... Yes, you should submit your web pages to social bookmarking websites.
 
Although I am making this suggestion to fashionistas, fashion blog owners, clothing stores, and every other type of fashion website owner, I must be honest and say that I have not really done well practicing what I preach.  I created an account with Delicious, Furl, and Ma.gnolia a long time ago but really have done very little with it.  Only re-discovered the concept a week or two ago.  I have started adding a few more pages of Apparel Search to Delicious.  I may move onto the others in the future (if I have the time...)
 
The moral of this story is that if you wish to promote your fashion business, you need people to find your company.  One of the many ways to achieve this goal is to take advantage of social bookmarking your fashion website pages.  This is certainly, not the only avenue that you should explore.  But it is certainly not something to be completely over looked.
 
By the way, another good way to get the word out about your fashion site is to submit a fashion press release.  If you submit a release directly or if you go thru a fashion pr company, you can submit articles to Apparel Search for possible publication in our fashion articles section.  You can also post news at the Fashion Newspaper.
 
If you work in the fashion industry, please join us for discussions about fashion, clothing, textiles, or apparel at the Fashion Industry Network.
 
Make sure you tag responsibly...  Also, don't drink and drive.

A few social bookmarking websites: Delicious, Diigo, Stumbleupon, Digg, Reddit, and Newsvine.

 
Written by ML42809

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