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Social Bookmarking: It Never Left, But Boy Howdy, Is It Back!

Social bookmarking — once the realm of Digg, Reddit, and Delicious — seemed to fade away for a little while, kept alive in the background by the various dedicated legions of SubReddits, the chaotiphiles of StumbleUpon, and other niche groups. But Pinterest brought the phenomenon back a year or so ago, and the notion of ‘tools for sharing links to stuff you love with your friends’ has only continued to expand since.

Just in the past six months, a host of innovative new ways to bookmark have evolved, inlcuding:

Pearltrees — a ‘visual bookmarking’ service, PearlTrees allows you to create what amount to mindmaps of related websites, and link to other people’s PearlTrees, allowing you to essentially literally browse the web by subject, moving from one topic to another naturally, the way the human brain intuitively arranges them.

Collectably — allows you to create ‘groups’ and ‘boards’ within the groups, then add whatever webpage you’re on to a specific group and board with three mouse clicks. You can share individual links or boards with others with only a couple of clicks as well.

StyleHive — specifically intended for bookmarking style-related goods, StyleHive is an amazing niche site if you happen to be selling clothing, hair extensions, quirky household goods, or similar items.

RedGage — a fascinating site that pays people to use it. We’re still not certain that this is going to turn out to be a decent business model OR terribly good for marketing purposes, but it certainly stands out among it’s peers.

BuddyMarks — still quite small, BuddyMarks is kind of across between Digg and Groupon insofar as it offers both social bookmarking and social coupon services from the same interface. We’ll see if that’s enough to get it growing in 2013.

There are, of course, hundreds more innovative new social bookmarking sites out there waiting to prove their value both to consumers and to those businesses looking to exploit them for their organic SEO value — and that’s exactly the point. Social bookmarking may have had a bit of a slump, but that’s clearly over – 2013 will be like 2008 all over again.