September 21, 2008

Google takes aim at Wikipedia

Internet favourites (sometimes known as bookmarks) are shortcuts to web pages that you want to return to easily and quickly. All browsers (including Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari) have favourite functionality built-in. In most cases adding a favourite simply requires that you navigate to the website you want to remember and go to the Favourite (in Internet Explorer) or Bookmarks (in Firefox and Safari) menu and select 'Add Bookmark'. Like files, you can organise your bookmarks in to folders - each program handles this differently, but generally you'll be able to access your favourites and then drag them into folders as required.

Another way to organise your favourites is to do it online in a trend that has been labelled 'social bookmarking'. A popular site called del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us) lets you bookmark sites and share those bookmarks with others. The idea behind del.icio.us is simple; the more people that bookmark a particular webpage, the more likely that page is to be interesting or useful.

But if you're not interested in sharing your bookmarks with others, you can simply use del.icio.us to access your favourites from any computer with an Internet connection. The other great thing you can do with del.icio.us is ‘tag’ your bookmarks into different categories – like computers, entertainment etc. And even if you don't want to join you can go to http://del.icio.us/popular/ to view popular bookmarks on the site.

There are also lots of other social bookmarking sites that cater for different communities. Another locally developed social bookmarking site is called Batamo (www.batamo.com). Instead of relying heavily on text, Batamo lets users add favourites as live images of the website which are referred to as portamOs. Each time a user logs back into Batamo they are presented with a graphical representation of all of their favourite websites. And like del.icio.us, Batamo members can access their bookmarks from any connected computer.