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Putting a Face on Social Bookmarking

Shared Stuff ProfileIt seems that Google is jumping into the social bookmarking market:”Google Wants You To Share Stuff(TechCrunch)”: with their new service Google Shared Stuff. Although there are already many good social bookmarking sites out there, Google has finally put a face to it. They have included a profile section on your shared page, complete with photo, occupation, location, links, and even space for a self intro. Facebook meets

Although Google has become a huge part of my own PLE:”My PLE(:I use Google Reader, Gmail, Google Documents, and iGoogle on a daily basis.)”:, I must say I am on the fence with this one…

What they have done well:

  • The addition of the profile. Simply adding a photo and a little personal information makes social bookmarking just a bit more social. I am a very visual person, so being able to connect the face to the content is important to me.
  • Integration. Google is a core part of my PLE, so keeping things in the family appeals to me.
  • Sharing options. The Shared Stuff pop-up gives you the additional choices of sending the bookmark as an email or even posting it to other social bookmarking sites.
  • Subscriptions and RSS. Maybe this is a given, but I need to give them credit for it. You can either subscribe by RSS (Google Reader, perhaps?), or add a widget to your iGoogle page.
  • Article Preview. There is an option to inclue an image of the page with your bookmark. You can even cycle through images to choose the best one.

What needs work:

  • No option for importing bookmarks. This will probably come with time, as Google has a track record of rolling things out a step at a time. (Do they do this to avoid software bugs, or to allow users to gain confidence with the interface before “complicating” it?)
  • No Tag Cloud, or Tag list. Again, this may come with time.
  • Article Preview. You can add an image of the page, but it is saved as a very small image and does not link to a full size image. (Are the Google servers running out of space?)

These are just first impressions, and the service is still young, but until they enable bookmark importing I think I will hold off for now.