The blogosphere is starting to buzz about our new Social Bookmarks preview app that went live today. While most bloggers are focusing on the MSDN version, we have also shipped versions for TechNet, Expression (screenshot below) and a generic Microsoft brand.
While it's true that our Social Bookmarks app provides features similar to those found in del.icio.us and our earlier TagSpace prototype, our approach is a little different. While our bookmarking app can be used to bookmark anything by anyone, my team is really focused on technical professionals--developers, system administrators, designers and other technical folks. In fact, we've moved away from the "TagSpace" name because we're not trying to introduce a new brand name. Instead, we are focused on making our MSDN, TechNet and Expression as social as possible.
Given our focus on making our sites more social, there are a couple big concepts that are unique to how we're doing bookmarks:
First, Bookmarks are brand-specific. In other words, MSDN bookmarks are kept separate from TechNet bookmarks. The idea is that developers care about different topics than IT professionals, so it's useful to keep the bookmarks separated. For example, a system administrator probably isn't interested in seeing a bunch of bookmarks related to .NET APIs.
When you view My Bookmarks, you see everything you've bookmarked across all brands. But when you view All Bookmarks, you'll just see only the bookmarks that apply to the current brand. For example, if you bookmark something in an Expression forum, you won't see it listed under MSDN's All Bookmarks view.
The next new concept is that tagging forums threads is an alternate way of bookmarking. In fact, the tag control in the forums app is now labeled "Bookmarking" and it provides a link to your bookmarks as well as letting you tag the current thread.
We call this "inline tagging" and plan to roll it out more widely across the sites. Later this year, bookmarks in the MSDN Code Gallery, and the MSDN and TechNet libraries will use similar inline tagging controls, and they will share our new Social Bookmarks backend.
I'm looking forward to see how MSDN, TechNet and Expression users respond to our new bookmarking capabilities. My hope is that they will appreciate the convenience of bookmarking on our sites, while also providing lots of tags that will help other users find topics that are helpful and interesting.