Sharing links is becoming the new thing for some reason, I listed several ways in a post called Collaborative Recommendation, and another post listing several link sharing sites, in this post I’ll focus on the more common web 2.0 ways of sharing links.
There are various types of link sharing sites, first that comes to mind is a social bookmarks, other ways are, -an RSS Reader, friendstreams, and link sharing specific sites.
del.icio.us allows you to collect bookmarks, you can also subscribe to other users (your network), this way you have a stream of what your network is collecting, not sure if this is sharing, as you are moreso collecting.
But you can directly share with another user by using the “links for you” feature.
Hopefully we will see del.icio.us add more social networking features like a more robust profile and messaging friends, comment wall and a calendar (so it looks more like a link blog).
I believe some social bookmarks like BlueDot, do have more networking features and even private/public groups, so this makes for a link sharing hub.
Google Reader has a Shared Items stream, with one click you can share items from your RSS reading into a public stream, others can subscribe to this feed. But this isn’t a social network, and you are not sharing links with specific people.
Also you can’t share items that you didn’t find in Google Reader, unless you hack something up…we will get to the new Google Shared Stuff in a second.
Now what about an RSS Reader like Streamy, here you do your RSS reading within a social network, like Google Reader you can see the streams of others, but it’s so much easier as you don’t have to subscribe to their Shared Items stream, you simply add them as a friend….plus you can search the directory for friends.
Since they are your friends you can share items directly with them, you can even IM…what else…you can comment on items, you can blog posts (notes) and you can form groups. I think Streamy is the future of things we will expect to see with RSS Reading, link sharing, and social networking.
Friendstreams are sites where you can set up a space to aggregate all your web 2.0 profiles into one spot (lifestream), and it will stream the latest stuff from all your profiles. The beauty of this is that most friendstreams allow you to add friends, so you can view your friends lifestreams, even a mixed friendstream.
Other features are private messaging, note blogging, and even sending a link to a friend.
Then there are sites which are built around a specific function, and that’s link sharing with outside friends, my list is here.
A few I’ll mention are ShareThis and Siphs…basically these sites give you a bookmarklet so you can with one click share a link with your outside friends. A box comes up and you enter your friends email, IM, social network message, etc…
These link sharing sites can either be social networks, or simply sharing links with outside people…in this case ShareThis is not a social network, you cannot add other ShareThis users as friends.
You user space has a record of all links you have shared and with which people, but this stream is not public.
Google Shared Stuff
Now this brings us to Google Shared Stuff, this is a way to share links via a bookmarklet.
The bookmarklet allows you to share to a friends email address (with Gmail lookup), you can also share to social networks, but you can’t Google IM a link.
Another option is the choice to share with the world by posting the link on your Google Shared Stuff link blog (if you choose to share by email you can also click a box to post it to your link blog).
The link blog also has a feed…and when you post a link you can add a note (comment) and tags.
Google Blogoscoped posts that you can view a users link blog, a most popular links from all users (even by tag), and links by domain.
You can’t really add friends to your link blog user space, but your Gmail contacts will be listed on your sidebar if they use Google Shared Stuff, just click on a contact to see what they are sharing.
So what we get here is email link sharing and a public link blog, we don’t have a friendstream.
Like Marshall over at R/WW says, this is only the start, let’s see what happens next…
What makes Siphs structually different is that each of your links you share actually has a permalink (by clicking on view/post comments), and people can leave comments…so where Siphs is more of a link blog, Google Shared Stuff and del.icio.us are more link logs.
Also Siph has tags limited to a user, and they are listed on the sidebar, neither have a calendar.
So what are we to expect from Google, slowly all their products are bleeding into each other, we have several ways to share links:
Google bookmarks, Google Reader Shared Items, and now Google Shared Stuff…one for collecting links, one for posting links from an RSS Reader, and one for posting links found on the web.
Will all these eventually be integrated into a social ecosystem, more akin to Streamy…I wonder how SocialStream will fit into the picture.