The second generation of social bookmarking sites is attempting to take the concept of grabbing a link and turning it into something visually appealing, addictive and all-encompassing. While many people swear by the comparatively old-school Delicious and Digg, there is room in these people’s lives—and yours—for other sites.
Current is technically a user-powered cable television station founded by Al Gore, but it also happens to be a social bookmarking Web site and hub for the station where you can watch video, read news items and comment and vote articles up or down, as well as submit your own. The focus, generally speaking, is on issues of public interest and issues that will pique your interest.
We Heart It calls itself a “visual bookmark for everyone.” Users have an eye for elegant imagery on the Web, whether it’s a photograph in a field, the interior of a house, a cute animal or a piece of clothing. Submissions are presented as squares and users can “heart” the selections they fancy and “explore more” to see similar items. (Warning: some items may be considered unsafe for work).
BuzzFeed is a time-bending portal to amusing, gross, and strange (did I say amusing?) items discovered on the Web. BuzzFeed has a staff of curators, but also invites user submissions. Each item comes with a photo or video, a link, user responses and other links on that topic. But you’ll likely never leave the site, so it doesn’t really matter.
Twine claims that it “Understands Your Interests,” and this is certainly an inviting proposition. Test it out by joining communities within the site, such as “Financial and Economic Global Crisis” or “Politics,” browsing the links others have posted and posting your own. You can bookmark items, share them and comment on them, and Twine will recommend items it thinks you’ll like.