Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Social Bookmarking Meets Social Networking: Blue Dot – Video Intro

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Social bookmarking meets social networking: Blue Dot pushes an evolutionary step forward the basecamp from where future online communities will start forming - Video Intro

Blue Dot is a free service that combines the social bookmarking abilities popularized by with the social networking features of MySpace and similar services. In combining the ability to support the emergence of communities of like-minded people with the power of learning from one other via the open sharing of tags a and bookmarked content (social bookmarking), Blue Dot pushes an evolutionary step forward the base camp from where future online communities will start forming.

Photo: The Blue Dot Team (Top left to top right: Ross Yearsley, Kabir Shahani, Mohit Srivastava, Derek Slager, Chris Hahn and Eric Franklin, bottom left to bottom right: Jigna Patel, Chris Weight and Sung Park)

While with traditional social bookmarking services like the emphasis is satisfying a personal need while allowing the whole world to benefit from it, the relationships that ensue are often very impersonal and limited to extending one's own ability to find interesting content without ever socializing with those serving it you.

Blue Dot moves you a step forward, giving greater strength to the social aspect and to the ensuing opportunities for a highly personalized and more intimate social networking experience. Rather than sharing your opinions with the world, Blue Dot offers you a way of entering into a dialogue with the people you already know.


What are the benefits of sharing in this way? And how does Blue Dot compare to the vast range of competing services in social bookmarking and networking?

Using Blue Dot is as simple as signing up and adding a couple of bookmarks to your browser of choice.


The next time you run into a web site or online resource that you want to share with your friends, you simply click on 'Dot This' and a dialogue opens for you to tag the page and leave a note to your closed network of contacts. Blue Dot also allows you to illustrate each and every site you bookmark by allowing you to include one of the images from the page you are visiting, which will serve as a great visual reference. This couldn't be easier, and is a great way of alerting a friend, colleague or member of the family to something you'd like them to check out on the web.


For example, in our virtual newsroom here at Robin Good's Media Network, we often need to share and pass on to other editors links and references that may be critically useful for them to complete a review or to prepare a new one. While we have often resorted to skyping and emailing such things, Blue Dot approach would appear on paper as a better way to go, organize and archive such valuable exchanges.

Sites you bookmark with Blue Dot are then sent to your personal list of 'dotted' sites on a private page. In short, this is a straightforward list, displaying the thumbnail image you chose along with your notes on the site, and obviously a link to the page for your group members to follow. What's nice is that whatever your friends or colleagues will bookmark themselves will also appear within your personal Blue Dot page making the cooperative collection and sharing of valuable web resources a breeze.

The personal Blue Dot pages generated can then be filtered in multiple ways allowing you to leave notes and memos to yourself, to specific contacts, or to the whole circle of people that make up your group. Furthermore you can elect to share specific blue dots (bookmarked sites) only with specific contacts in your network.


In this brief video introduction, in which I have mashed up the original video intro from Blue Dot with my own audio narration, I walk you through the simple act of "dotting" websites and sharing your thoughts (and thumbnails) with your social group.

While Blue Dot is not inventing anything new, their ability to combine closed-group social networking with effective social bookmarking does indeed open up new and more effective opportunities for more effective collaborative work.

There is no reason why this service should not sit comfortably alongside in your browser, as it aims to fulfill a different need - while focuses on the self-interested open tagging and archival of relevant web resources, Blue Dot pushes the ability for online communities to efficiently share the discoveries of its members in a cohesive fashion.

Social browsing is increasingly becoming a crowded market space with more and more interesting services vying for your attention.

Photo credit: (c) Michael Brown

Here some good pointers for you to follow-up on:

  • - Perhaps the best known social book marking site, has served as a model for those that followed. has in its favor the sheer number of users contributing to its vast range of tagged websites. Blue Dot differs in adding small social groups to the equation
  • Simpy offers the opportunity to add bookmarks directly to your blog using RSS and ATOM, and also features the ability to sync with the more popular service.
  • Stumble Upon takes a refreshingly different approach, by taking users to seemingly random pages that have actually been selected via the cross referencing of your own preferences and the recommendations of other users. The element of surprise is perhaps its greatest asset.
  • Trailfire adds the innovation of linking a series of annotated pages together into a trail, which friends and family can then move through, following your annotations from one linked page to the next and creating a flowing narrative between them. Trailfire was recently reviewed in Masternewmedia.
  • For a more extensive list of other contenders in the social bookmarking space, Read/Write Web's excellent Social Bookmarking Faceoff is a great place to start.

Robin Good and Michael Pick -
Readers' Comments    
2006-10-27 06:32:17

Mukesh Goyal is hoping to take social networking to a new realm. It is comprised of all aged people from all over the world coming together and sharing the gift of emotions and sentiments in social networking. Here is an interactive network of photos, blogs, user profiles, groups, and an internal e-mail system. We provide heartwarming free onlineslambook also for you to reach out to your friends and let 'em know how special they are and also what they think about you.

2006-10-15 00:09:50


Nice article Michael, and very interesting. Will have to check out Blue Dot.

posted by Michael Pick on Saturday, October 14 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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