A sharing platform is a social web site that allows you to save and share your references (web bookmarks, online articles, bibliographies), and to class them according to the folksonomy principle using free keywords (tags).
Other platforms exist that give direct access to content, such as photos or videos. Users need to register for a free personal account, which then allows them to access their references from any computer connected to the Internet, and to network with other users, with a view to mutualizing data, which may be displayed, notably in the form of a cloud of keywords (tag cloud).
Above: this same text presented in the form of a tag cloud generated by Wordle.
What is the difference between the various sharing platforms?
Some sharing platforms include, as an additional feature, the analysis of bibliographic references to articles or books. This is the case notably for CiteUlike. Other sites focus on the relationship between users via their profiles, rather than on the content of the exchanged references. This is the case for social networks like Facebook or Scilinks (See the guide: Social networks for researchers).
Above: Magnolia, the first social bookmarking tool to gain a significant audience. Its sudden end led users of this type of service to subscribe to two (synchronized) services as a precaution, in order to avoid the risk of losing data. The announced end of the Delicious service means that this precaution is particularly necessary.
Brief history of the subject
To cite this guide
BELVEZE, Damien, PAUTHE, Julien, "Social bookmarking platforms". In UEB (European University of Britanny). Form@doct. Rennes: UEB, 2011 (last updated 3rd July 2013). Available at: